A happy Yorkshire Day one and all.
Today, August 1st, is Yorkshire Day but for people of my generation August 1st means something more and it is that which I wish to remember, and unlike previous iterations of my ramblings it is a step away from my working life but to slightly earlier in my life.
August 1st is a momentous date in the calendar for the Abolition of Slavery for it was August 1st 1834 that the Abolition of Slavery Act came into force. This was followed by a period of “apprenticeships” the first of which came to an end on August 1st 1838 and the last set to come be finalised on August 1st 1840 (excluding the territories and possessions of the East India Company and also Ceylon and St Helena). Therefore it is 180 years since freedom and “Full Emancipation” was finally granted to the slaves of British owners.
I am glad to know that no Slaves are used in the harvesting of any of the Sugar I have bought in my years as a confectioner. There were days, for those in this trade before me, for whom this could not have been said.
It is right to remember this day as a moment in history, though a moment that should never have needed to have happened. Let us not forget that 180 years is not that long ago, it is, for many, your grandparents’ grandparents.