Beeverley – Goddess of the East Riding

Beeverley © H. Hudson-Lee 2021

Beeverley is, despite her venerable visage, one of the youngest deities in this pantheon. In 2017, when Kingston-Upon-Hull became the City of Culture, the citizens decided that they really should have a patron deity. From amongst their number, they chose the beloved philanthropist and Hull paragon of virtue, “The Bee Lady” for deification. (Beeverley may have be the first person in history to promoted from Bishop to Goddess). Her cult became hugely popular almost overnight. Probably because the people of the East Riding are always keen to grasp any opportunity to do things a little bit differently to everyone else, and religion is no exception. A documentary film was made based on her amazing story but, sadly, few people have seen it in cinemas because it was not a feature presentation.

Since becoming a Goddess, Beeverley has borne a daughter. It was clear that this babe was also divine because, when she was born, three wise men came from the East Riding on camels. This golden child was named Patty Butty and she became the Goddess of Regional Delicacies. You can find Patty’s temple down Battery Road.

The way of Beeverley is a contemplative and reflective path. It’s followers practice the art of Venn Meditation, where they cogitate upon the question of whether they are in the East Riding, East Yorkshire or Humberside, and what the overlap between these might be. Despite years of deliberation, they are yet to reach a consensus on the answer to this great question. Some of her followers who have more shamanic leanings expand their minds by consuming the potent powder known as “Chip Spice”. This is said to help them achieve a fluid mental sub-state known as “The Deep”. All meditation is usually practiced in the elegant gardens which surround Beeverley’s temple. These “Venn Gardens” are known for the aesthetic patterns of intersecting circles which are raked into its gravel paths. Worshippers of Beeverley can be recognised by their intricately patterned Gansey Jumpers, which they wear to keep themselves warm against the North Sea breezes, or to use as ID.

The Temple of Beeverley is located in the Land of Green Ginger and is designed to look like a giant version of a KCOM cream phone box. It houses their sacred chalice, a 1960’s Hornsea Pottery Heirloom Pattern “Autumn Brown” soup bowl. The custodians of the temple are Beeverley’s High Priest and Priestess, a couple called Bert and Agnes Hall. Their main job is to enforce the smoking ban inside the temple. The rules are very clear. Worshippers must go outside if they want to give someone a smug, superior, side-eye. Anyone who creates a disturbance in the temple by Larkin’ around, will be ejected by the temple guards. These guards all have the first name “Wilber” and are collectively known as the “Wilber Force”.

Devout worshippers of Beeverley avoid the demonic lair that is Spiders Nightclub, where even the purest hearted beeliever can become enmeshed in a web of sin, or permanently stuck to the floor. The legend is that if you spend too long in there you’ll turn into a Goole. However, if you’re not overly concerned with the state of your mortal soul, it’s actually a fun night out. Possibly a little bit too much fun. If you’re offered a blowie by an attractive stranger in the club toilets, go for it. In the East Riding, it’s impolite to spurn head.

Sadly, the religion of Beeverley is not entirely peaceful. For decades they have been at war with the North Riding over the disputed territory of Filey. In recent years an uneasy ceasefire has held. Both parties having decided to just wait until it is inevitable consumed by sea, rendering the issue moot.  

One of Beeverley’s key deity duties is to watch over the thousands of travellers who cross the majestic span of the Humber Bridge every day. If there’s snerr blerking the rerd, she makes a fern curl t’let everyone nerr. When it comes to protecting those who cross the Humber, nothing is too much Hessel for Beeverley. The members of cult of Beeverley are also active for the benefit of the community. Every year they organise a festival to commemorate the anniversary of the Siege of Hull and the start of English Civil War. Next year in 2022, to celebrate the 380th jubilee, they are proposing that Kingston-Upon-Hull be temporarily renamed Not-Any-More-It’s-Not-Upon-Hull.

Worshippers of Beeverley believe that, when they die, their souls go to Bridlington. So, to facilitate the process, they usually move there a few years before the event. It is said to be a mostly tranquil afterlife, blighted only by flocks of voracious zombie gulls known as the “Undead Bods”. They occupy a space in the folklore which, in other cultures, is normally reserved for The Furies. Fortunately, these demonic birds mostly focus their attention on the wretched shade of t’Antalus. Who, for his heinous crimes in life*, is hereafter cursed to hold a burning hot cone of chips in his hands, but never gets to eat one.

* He moved to Lincolnshire and quite liked it.

Happy Yorkshire Day Everyone! I hope you are all enjoying your puddings and parkin. Jean Bishop, the OG Bee Lady fundraises for Age UK Hull. If you are thinking of making a charitable donation today, why not put it their way? They especially need funds right now to help older people affected by C-19. Details of how to donate are on their website at https://www.ageuk.org.uk/hull/

Once you’ve done that, why not round off your Yorkshire Day with Sithee – God of South Yorkshire and Wayhey-Up – God of the West Riding (next year… the North Riding!)

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