125 Years Ago - 1892
By the death of John Ramsden on Friday at his residence, 10, Crossbeck Road, there passed away one of the few remaining links of the past century with the present. He was a son of the late William Ramsden, of Mount Stead Farm, Burley-in-Wharfedale, and was born on July 17th, 1798, having reached therefore his 94th year.
The annual meeting in aid of African Missions was held in the Primitive Methodist Schoolroom. Mr. F. Rhodes occupied the chair, and his remarks were chiefly confined to the experiences in Africa of Mr. Arthur Baldwin of Otley, who has gone out as a missionary and who has been rather severely dealt with by the natives.
100 Years Ago - 1917
The nephew of Mr. A. Thistlethwaite, of Ben Rhydding, who is with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force writes, "I am now about 300 miles from Basrah, and its quite a different climate to what we had down there. Jolly cold. But let me tell you about the journey up the river. Every day was beautifully sunny - like the English summer day. There are palm trees along the banks as far as the confluence of the Tigris and the Euphrates. The river winds a terrible lot, and as you get further up there are tiny Arab villages on the banks. The entire population turns out to meet the boat - men, women, and scores of children. The children wear not a stitch of clothing til they are about sixteen, I should say, and not a fat lot after that age either.
The death is reported in Salonika, from natural causes, of Private Ernest Featherstone. Private Featherstone, who was about 34 years of age, and leaves a wife and one child, resided at Whitton Lodge, Wells Road, Ilkley. He wrote his last letter home on coming out of the trenches, and it was received the same day as the news of his death.
75 Years Ago - 1942
News has been received of a number of local men who are "missing" in Malaya after the garrison at Singapore capitulated. Every endeavour has been made to obtain information about the 11 men, and it is hoped that they are safe, although they could be prisoners-of-war. There is also concern for the welfare of an Otley couple Captain and Mrs Cyril Jennings, who have been living in Malaya for some time.
Otley and District Allotment Holders' Association has secured a quota of seeds which has come to this country as a gift from America. The distribution is being undertaken by the National Allotment Society and the Personal Service League.
50 Years Ago - 1967
More barbed wire should be provided to prevent people from gaining access to the Swastika Stone at Woodhouse Crag on Ilkley Moor. This is the view expressed to Ilkley Urban Council by the Minister of Public Building and Works following a report to them that the Swastika Stone has been further damaged by the carving of initials.
Conflicting accounts in the daily Press this week about "Pop Fans Amok in Hotel," "700 in uproar at beat club after police stop show" and chaos after police break up crowded pop show" have been followed by comments from spokesmen for the Troutbeck Hotel, Ilkley, and the Police. A national newspaper claimed that 800 teenagers rioted after police stepped in last Sunday night and halted a pop concert "in mid verse." Said this report, "They ripped off doors, pulled out electrical fittings and smashed furniture after a police sergeant stepped on stage and stopped pop singer Jimmy Hendrix half way through a number."
25 Years Ago - 1992
Coronation Street star Dawn Acton, who plays teenager Tracey Barlow, is coming to Otley. The 15-year-old star is to open a showbiz shop at the In Shops Centre in Boroughgate. The shop is the brainchild of one of Britain's youngest businessmen, 15-year-old Jon-Paul Rimington, of Buckstone Hall, Rawdon.
Vernon Scannell, of Otley, has led such an interesting life that it has already filled four books. In his 70 years he has been a professional boxer, army deserter, university student, member of a travelling circus, teacher, lecturer, journalist, playwright, broadcaster, author and poet.