A new campaign by Yorkshire Water is marking the 80th anniversary of Yorkshire’s very first trig pillars, which were constructed by Ordnance Surveyors to help map Great Britain.
The utility company is marking their creation by encouraging their Facebook followers to share photos of themselves next to the monoliths. A winner will be chosen and rewarded with a £100 outdoor voucher.
There are 6,500 pillars in total in Britain and 454 in Yorkshire specifically, standing around four feet high and made from either concrete or stone. The first started populating the landscape in 1936 and since act as beacons for Yorkshire ramblers.
The pillars are can be found across Yorkshire in some of the region’s most popular beauty spots. The highest pillar is located on Whernside summit, with the majority located across North Yorkshire in the Dales and North Yorkshire Moors.
Although they are no longer used for surveying as a result of modern map-making, they are still ingrained in Yorkshire culture and have become a phenomenon in themselves. ‘Trig bagging’ has grown in popularity over the years, with ramblers and visitors challenging themselves to visit all of the pillars in the region.
Harrogate’s Dave Woffenden is one ‘trig bagger’ who has visited all of Yorkshire’s pillars. He said: “I first got interested in OS Triangulation Pillars during the 1980’s having walked the Pennine Way with some colleagues. I realised they all had unique numbers on the plate near the base, so recording each number and grid reference became my hobby. By 2010 I had visited all 454 trig pillars in Yorkshire.”
Because of their clear importance to the Yorkshire community, Yorkshire Water — the region’s second largest landowner — has decided to celebrate these local monuments. Yorkshire Water’s recreation manager, Geoff Lomas commented:
“We thought it would be interesting to find out how many trig pillars are still left in Yorkshire to mark their 80th anniversary. On our land there are 33 trig pillars but across the region as a whole there are re-assumingly still hundreds of these surveying relics still standing, which have now become synonymous with the great British countryside. For ramblers looking for walking routers, we think they offer a great focal point and photo opportunity for a memorable walk.”
It is events like this that underline Yorkshire Water’s commitment to the region, doing their bit to up community spirit and involvement in the area.