125 Years Ago – 1892

FUNERAL of a Nonagenarian -The funeral of Mr Clapham, who was born in the year 1799, took place at Arthington on Tuesday last.

The annual feast has come around once more in Horsforth and brought with it the usual festivities. Most of the works in the district were closed for a week. The centre of attraction was the large, open piece of ground behind the Brown Cow Inn, where the numerous stalls and shows were erected. Murphy’s switchback railway was well patronised.

100 Years Ago – 1917

YESTERDAY morning an Ilkley man in one of the Infantry Regiments landed home on a few days furlough. He had come direct from the trenches, with the mud of France, or Flanders, still on his boots and clothes, and had with him all his trench equipment – a very big load indeed. There was his big pack, carried between the shoulders, also his haversack and gas helmet bag; together with his steel helmet, gun,bayonet, trench tools and other things besides. Seeing the brave fellow trudging on, the question forced itself to mind – surely some place could be found at the port of embarkation where all this stuff could be left and called for on return?

In a letter to Mr C Flint, Gunner W. Chapman, R.F.A., Addingham, says: “We are in action again and it is rather warm at times. We take no notice of old Fritz when he starts to strafe us. We live in a nice house under the ground and we are like a lot of rabbits. It is rare fun to see us come bobbing out of one hole into another. I should just like to be home again to see some of the old faces and friends, and I hope it won’t be long before I’m back again. We get some very exciting times out here with some of Fritz’s aeroplanes and ours having a fight in the air. It’s a grand sight to see one falling, but its bad for the pilot and observer. What do you think about America coming in? Let’s hope it will soon be over.” now or the whole world will be in it before it is finished.”

75 Years Ago – 1942

TANK tactics were revealed to Ilkley residents as Major John Knox, who lives in the town, gave a talk to the Ilkley Rotary Club. But official secrecy meant the Major could only give details about the tactics of the enemy and not the Allied forces.

Two Wharfedale soldiers have been giving each other support as both are held in the same prison camp in Germany. Menston man Private Stanley Atkinson has found himself a prisoner of war together with Private John Phillips, who is from Guiseley.

50 Years Ago – 1967

THERE have been reactions this week to the article in the Australian Sydney Sun criticising Ilkley. Mr Eric James, of Burley-in-Wharfedale, writes to the Gazette that as a wool merchant he has twice lived a year in Sydney and travelled to and from Australia eight times since 1945. “Let us not blame 99 per cent of the Australian people for this unwarranted article,” he writes, pointing out that many Australians in the wool trade are frequent visitors to the county and to Wharfedale. “They think that Wharfedale is the finest bit of country in the world,” says Mr James.

A decision to close the spinning department of Addingham Low Mill housed in premises which have provided local employment continuously for almost 180 years completes a period of Wharfedale’s history. It was the scene of rioting which took place when power looms were being introduced in 1826. The mill was originally built by John Cunliffe and John Cockshott, manufacturers, Addingham.

25 Years Ago – 1992

MANY thought it was the end when the Box Tree restaurant was forced to shut down two months ago – but one lady was already writing a new chapter. And last night, Madame Helen-Lela Avis saw her rescue package become reality as one of the most famous establishments in the country was resurrected from the dead.

In a simple ceremony in Ilkley’s Memorial Gardens, Czechoslovakian scouts laid a wreath at the war memorial. The wreath was brought by the scouts by bus, boat and train from their home town of Marianske Lazne.