Colin Holt (activist)

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Colin Holt on Yorkshire Day

Roland Colin Holt, known as Colin Holt (1945–2006) was a founder member of the Yorkshire Ridings Society, and served as its chairman for many years until his death.

Colin Holt lived in Fenwick near Doncaster. Until his retirement he was a lecturer at Doncaster College. Though best known for vocally championing the cause of Yorkshire, Colin Holt was also a dedicated member of Moss and District Parish Council, and was also a vintage vehicle enthusiast.[1]

He also served on the committee of the Association of British Counties, to which the YRS is affiliated.

The Yorkshire Ridings Society[edit]

As publicity officer of the Yorkshire Ridings Society, Colin Holt achieved his first publicity coup through his refusal to pay bills addressed to "Fenwick, South Yorkshire" rather than "Fenwick, Yorkshire" or "Fenwick, West Riding". Eventually, after many official letters, British Telecom cut the Holts off. They were not reconnected for several years.[2] After British Telecom was privatized, the company agreed to make the address read "Yorkshire" and the Holts had their telephone back.[3]

Colin Holt had a genius for generating publicity, which the Yorkshire Ridings Society used throughout his chairmanship.

His message was simple and unchanging: that the sidelining of Yorkshire's ancient North, West and East Ridings, under local government re-organisation in 1974, was a crime and an insult.

Yorkshire Day[edit]

In Colin Holt devised Yorkshire Day[2][4] (1 August), as a celebration of all things Yorkshire. He began the tradition, still continued, for members of the YRS, with white roses in their buttonholes, to make a circuit of the ancient city walls of York, reading out a "Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity". The 1 August was chosen as the county day because on that day in 1759 that soldiers from Yorkshire regiments who had fought in the Battle of Minden picked white roses as a tribute to fallen comrades.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Colin married Hilary, who survives him.


  1. ^ a b "Funeral of ardent Yorkshire man". Doncaster Free Press. 2006-05-04. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  2. ^ a b Yorkshire Post, 25 May 2007
  3. ^ Journal; A County by a New Name Doesn't Smell as Sweet New York Times, Monday, 14 September 2009
  4. ^ BBC Radio 4 on-line, 19 May 2006