With the celebration of Yorkshire that was Le Grand Depart, the start of the Tour de France, you wouldn’t have thought things could get better for the White Rose County. Well, that just shows what you know, because the fantastic Yorkshire Sculpture Park has just been named Museum of the Year. So there.
According to The Guardian, which is usually right about these things, the big swathe of land on the Wakefield-Barnsley border went from being a blot on the landscape to a thing of beauty. Who’s going to argue with that? It started out in 1977 as a couple of works of outside art to complement the magnificent Bretton Hall College the then arty outpost of the University of Leeds. From there it grew, as well it might in the county which has produced two of the world’s best contemporary sculptors, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.
The YSP and surrounding countryside is one of my favourite places ever, I’ve spent hours, days, probably weeks there, all seasons of the year. We even had our wedding reception there, not in the posh restaurant, but a picnic in the park. It’s also the Wakefield office of our business, strategically placed just off the M1. And it’s worth the £8 parking to just sit and enjoy the vista from my desk there, I mean table in the cafe.
But it’s the changing sculpture landscape that always delights and sometimes mystifies. Even without this award, I’d be proud of YSP, but with it? Another reason to celebrate our county. I’ll be wearing my white rose with pride on Yorkshire Day which, for all you Yuggles (non-Yorkshire folk) is 1 August.