Staffordshire Day in England Date in the current year: May 1, 2024

Staffordshire Day in England Staffordshire Day is the official holiday of the English ceremonial county of Staffordshire, which is celebrated annually on May 1. It was inaugurated in 2015 to promote the history and culture of Staffordshire.

Staffordshire is a ceremonial county in the West Midlands. It borders Cheshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Shropshire, Warwickshire, the West Midlands County, and Worcestershire. The administrative center of Staffordshire is Stafford, the county’s largest city is Stoke-on-Trent, and Lichfield is a cathedral city.

The Lichfield Cathedral is the only three-spired medieval cathedral in the United Kingdom. Other places of interest in Staffordshire include Alton Towers Resort, the Ancient High House, the Brindley Water Mill, Eccleshall Castle, the Izaak Walton Cottage, the National Memorial Arboretum, Trentham Monkey Forest, the Wedgwood Museum, and more.

The celebration of Staffordshire Day was initiated by Gavin Williamson, Member of Parliament for South Staffordshire. He said that many other counties had special days to pay tribute to their history and tradition, and it was high time to create a county day for the wonderful country of Staffordshire.

Williamson suggested that Staffordshire Day be celebrated on September 18 to commemorate the birthday of Samuel Johnson, a renowned English poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic, and lexicographer born in Lichfield, Staffordshire. Staffordshire County Council supported the idea of the celebration but didn’t immediately agree on the date.

In July 2015, a poll was held to decide the date of Staffordshire Day. In addition to September 18, there were other candidate dates:

  • May 1 – the founding anniversary of Josiah Wedgwood and Sons, a famous fine china and porcelain manufacturer headquartered in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
  • July 5 – the discovery anniversary of the Staffordshire Hoard, which is the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon silver and gold metalwork, valued at over £3 million
  • September 6 – the day when the future King Charles II hid from Parliamentary patrols in the Royal Oak in South Staffordshire after his defeat in the Battle of Worcester
  • September 27 – the death anniversary of James Brindley, an English engineer who lived most of his life in Leek, Staffordshire

35% of the votes cast were in support of May 1, probably partly because it coincides with May Day and is close to the spring bank holiday, which allows for a large-scale celebration of Staffordshire Day.

The inaugural Staffordshire Day was celebrated on May 1, 2016. It marked the 1000th anniversary of the first mention of the county in written records. Several dozen events were held across Staffordshire. Event locations included Alton Towers, Lichfield Cathedral, and Rudyard Lake.

Since then, Staffordshire Day has been celebrated every year. Traditional holiday events include fairs, parades, concerts, film screenings, guided tours, and more. Celebrations weren’t canceled even during the COVID-19 pandemic – in 2020 and 2021, Staffordshire Day events were held online.

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Staffordshire Day in England, holidays in England, county days in England, holidays in Staffordshire, ceremonial county