Vote for a date to celebrate the best things about Somerset

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 January 2015 | UPDATED: 09:22 08 January 2015

Cheddar Cheese, made in the caves and gorge area, is cited as being one of the area's world famous businesses (Photo: Cheddar Gorge and Caves).

Cheddar Cheese, made in the caves and gorge area, is cited as being one of the area's world famous businesses (Photo: Cheddar Gorge and Caves).

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PEOPLE celebrate St George's Day every year, but now you could add an annual Somerset Day to your diary.

Vote for one of these three dates:

n May 11: In 878, Alfred the Great united the people of Somerset to march against the invading Dutch army. By the time of his death, he had become the dominant ruler in England and the only monarch to be accorded the title ‘the Great’.

n May 19: Celebrate St Dunstan, who was born in Somerset in about 910. For a long time, he was the most popular saint in England, and after being Abbot of Glastonbury rose to become Archbishop of Canterbury. His work reformed the English church.

n July 6: The Battle of Sedgemoor is widely accepted as the last pitched battle fought on English soil. It was followed by an infamous event in 1685 when Judge Jeffreys presided over a series of trials called Bloody Assizes where more than 1,400 prisoners were sentenced.

County-wide think tank Passion For Somerset launched last year to try to unite the area and help it thrive financially.

It is made up of business people from all over Somerset, including Grand Pier co-owner Michelle Michael, Denys Rayner from Weston charity Lighthouse and Clive Bodley from Alliance Homes, which maintains a number of houses throughout North Somerset.

Now Passion For Somerset wants to launch a special date to celebrate all that makes the county great – and you could vote for your favourite.

Leader John Turner said: “As we who live here know, Somerset is one of the world’s best locations.

“Now is the chance for people to make their choice on a new annual day when we can celebrate everything that is great about our county.

“As the third-biggest county in England and home to world-famous events, people and businesses such as Glastonbury, Jenson Button and Cheddar cheese, there is no county quite like it.”

Members of Passion For Somerset say since there is no single body governing the county since it fragmented into a number of local authorities, a united front is key to its prosperity.

It is hoped a Somerset Day will celebrate the region as well as tying into the organisation’s aims, which include celebrating business success, encouraging investment and promoting the benefits of working and living in the county.

Three dates have been chosen as the possible new Somerset Day, and each one ties up with events in the county’s history.

You can vote for either May 11, May 19 or July 6 by visiting www.passionforsomerset.co.uk.

Voting closes on January 16.

North Somerset Council and Visit Somerset are supporting the event.

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