Wayheyup is the patron deity of that other Eden, that demi paradise, which stretches from Emley to Ilkley. He is a jovial deity with strong Wayheykfield energy. His origins run deep into the mist of prehistory, to the time when the majestic Brontesaurus roamed the wild moors. Today he holds sway over the hearts and minds of approximately 2.4 million dedicated followers, who will go to Elland back for their faith. They often refer to their god as “T’Big Light of t’World”. Suitable piety and devotion to Wayheyup throughout your life can secure you a place in Hebden when you die. Wayheyup is often prayed to in times of drought as he is believed to have the divine power to bring that fine rain which really wets you.
Wayheyup’s home is said to be a celestial castle made entirely from sandals. Much of his mythology involves tales of his bitter struggles against Sithee (God of South Yorkshire). In 1974 Sithee covetously stole a huge chunk of Wayheyup’s territory. This diabolical sacrilege occurred on April 1st, and Wayheyup and his followers still haven’t seen the funny side yet. Whatever you do, NEVER utter the term “West Yorkshire” within earshot of a devout Wayheyupian.
The head of the church of Wayheyup is known as the Pontefract Maximus. He presides over the principle temple, which is located on a quality street somewhere between Upper Heaton and Hanging Heaton. (The building is always freezing cold because there is no Central Heaton.) The interior is decorated with horse brasses, beaten copper tables, novelty tea pots and grand old Yorkshire sayings painted on the walls in copperplate script. This style of décor is known as “Ilkley Moor Bar Tat”. Other historic Wayheyupian temples of note include the one located in Horbury (which houses a cemetery dedicated to former sex-workers), the one located by the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (considered by many to be the main artery of the faith), and that farm in the middle of the M62. Sadly, their outreach Mission in Batley has now closed and been converted into a gym. This means they are no longer really pushing the frontiers of the faith, and considerable variety has been lost.
The church has several sub-sects. The most famous of which, is a highly mystical coterie, who spend much of their time meditating, singing and providing free fish and chip suppers to the needy. The Hare Ramsdens. There used to be a fundamentalist sect called the Nostellians, but they have been excommunicated for numerous priory offences. These included practicing the Durkar Arts, which caused their victims experience a Terrorvision. Their souls are now newmillerdamned.
When a child of a Wayheyupian family comes of age, they undergo a unique initiation ritual where their parents ceremonially chase them from their home, down the ginnel and into the temple. It’s a rite of passage. Once they arrive at the temple, prayers are said the traditional offerings of a plate of “Shit wi’Sugar On” and a glass of the last of the summer wine are presented to the altar. Music for the ceremony is provided by the kids on the street (because they never miss a beat). Following this, the extended family will celebrate with a slap-up tea of pie and peas with mint sauce, and a pint of local ale. (This customary meal often leads to a morning-after effect known as “Wuthering Bottoms”).
People from outside the region can tend to view the Wayheyupians as quite old fashioned and a little behind the times. To try and overcome this, some important improvements are planned in 2020. Their much loved but fatigued Pacer trains are being retired this year and replaced with the new “Black Lace” service. (The Black Lace Service involves the passengers forming a line behind Colin Gibb and dancing the Conga along the tracks from Wakefield Westgate to Wakefield Kirkgate.) The other major planned change is that Halifax is to be renamed Haliemail.
Followers of Wayheyup may be the people least upset by the coronavirus travel restrictions. There’s nowhere else worth bloody going anyway.
I would like to thank the very gracious @garybrannan of the Technical Difficulties for agreeing to be the face of Wayheyup. (If you have never come across their work, check them out on YouTube, you will lose hours.) I would also like to thank the wonderful people of @Visit_Wakefield for being a constant source of inspiration. Happy Yorkshire Day everyone!
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