125 Years Ago - 1892

A phenomenal thunderstorm passed over the Otley district on Sunday evening last. Though it lasted not more than half an hour , it was one of the severest storms that has visited the locality for years. Vivid lightning and heavy thunder were accompanied by such a downpour of rain as few can remember to have witnessed. For some time there was almost a continuous series of lightning flashes and a ceaseless roll of thunder, emphasised by occasional streaks of lightning of exceptional brightness. The streets were flooded to some depth.

On Saturday last the workpeople employed at the Kirk Lane Mills had an excursion to Blackpool. Nearly 400 passengers booked from Guiseley and 40 joined the train at Menston. The Yeadon Brass Band accompanied the excursionists.

100 Years Ago - 1917

Although the country still needs the efforts of everyone directed to the one purpose of winning the war, there is a limit to man’s mental and physical endurance, hence a time comes when he has to give up or suffer a breakdown. When one talks of weariness and flagging energies and the need of a holiday there are those who point to the soldiers in the trenches and elsewhere on the battle fronts and ask - Do the soldiers get holiday? It is now time that the men who fought during the early days of the war were withdrawn from the fighting line altogether, and their places taken by some of the newer battalions.

The following Otley men have been killed in action: - Private Alfred Lucas, North Staffordshire Regiment, of Chevin Terrace, Otley; Sergeant Arthur Smith, of the Canadians, formerly of Bondgate, Otley; and gunner Arthur Dibb, Royal Field Artillery, son of Mr and Mrs Arthur Dibb, of Pool Road, Otley.

75 Years Ago - 1942

Seaman Thomas Rothwell has been reported missing. He joined the navy before he was 19 and has served for 11 months. His father died in 1924 from the effect of war service.

Sheepdog trials were held at Carr Farm, Low Snowdon, in aid of the Red Cross. The winners of the Open Singles were Arthur Hayton, of Clayton, with Jock. The sheep were extremely tricky and even tested the skill of the older dogs. A collection on behalf of the Red Cross Rural Pennines fund raised £9.

50 Years Ago - 1967

A journey to Russia by motor cycle as a member of the Great Britain contingent competing in an international rally starts tomorrow for Mr Roger Henderson (23), of Shannon Close, Ilkley. At noon with Mr. Geoffrey Beardsley (22), of London, a friend and fellow team member, Mr Henderson leaves home for Hull on the first leg of a 2,000 miles journey to Moscow.

About 1,500 visitors from a wide area attended a garden fete at the Wharfedale Children’s Hospital, Menston, on Saturday, in aid of the fund to provide a swimming pool at the hospital. It is planned that the pool should be constructed on the site of an old laundry, and it is an entirely voluntary scheme. By their efforts, actively supported by the patients and their parents, a sum of £860 was already in hand. Saturday’s event, which raised £510, has swelled the total to £1,370 - sufficient, it is hoped, to enable arrangements to be made for the start of the project.

25 Years Ago - 1992

Two lorry drivers with an Otley haulage firm were caught up in the riots in France yesterday. And one of them is now driving to Italy windowless after his cab was smashed up during the riots in Chalon-sur-Saone, near Lyons. Overseas haulage operations were halted by French lorry drivers, who blocked major roads in protest over a new driving licence system.

If it’s summat for now’t - or nearly now’t - Yorkshire folk will turn up for almost anything. And sure enough they did, in their thousands, when Harry Ramsden’s Fish and Chip Shop at Guiseley turned back the clock 40 years and sold fish and chips at 1952 prices - fish 3d and chips 1d (2p in total). It was certainly a gala night with people queuing long before the opening time of 7pm.