5:40pm Thursday 1st July 2010
Following the honour which was recently conferred upon Otley by the selection and adoption of its name for one of the new Parliamentary Divisions of the Eastern Division of the West Riding, we now have the pleasing duty to chronicle the further and more important dignity which the ancient town has just received by being made the election centre of the Division to which it gives its name. This decision, given by the justices assembled in Quarter Session on Monday last, was anticipated on all hands and has given general satisfaction to the great bulk of the electors interested. No other town in the Division could possibly have been selected possessing greater claims to the distinction which has been paid it.
The parishioners of St Oswald’s Church, Guiseley, do not get on so very smoothly with their rector. The living belongs to a Welshman, but, his ministrations not being acceptable to the great majority of the parishioners, he went away from the neighbourhood two or three years ago, leaving, however, a curate in charge. At the beginning of the present year the Bishop of Ripon refused to allow him further leave of absence from his church, and about Easter he returned and again took up work in the parish. The churchgoers are, however, as much dissatisfied as ever.
Mr A Saville, a well known Otley gentleman employed at the tannery of Mr A Lawson, had an exciting experience last Saturday. He was a passenger on board the tourist steamer Princess Beatrice, bound from Liverpool on a voyage around Scotland, when the vessel struck on sunken rocks in the Luing Sound, some thirty miles off Oban. The accident happened while the 57 passengers were at breakfast, and it is stated that while some alarm was naturally felt there was no panic. Fortunately, the weather was fine and a sister ship, the Princess Victoria, went to the stranded vessel’s assistance. On Sunday Mr Saville’s family received a telegram which stated that he was safe after being stranded for 11 hours on the rocks.
The tramways question of Otley has suddenly come to the front again and on Monday a sub-committee of the Tramways Committee was held in the Council chamber. The Clerk Mr C J F Atkinson said he had received information regarding the cost of extending the tramways system from Guiseley to Otley. The information was of a somewhat surprising nature to the committee, as no doubt it will be to those outside who have favoured the proposal. The estimate, for an installation of trackless trolley cars including trolley wires, cables and a power station, is of a capital expenditure of £10,000. The matter will come up for full discussion at the next council meeting but in view of the particulars we have been given the ratepayers can rest assured the tram question will be a scheme that will not hamper them for some time to come.
A thrilling rescue of two little girls on Tuesday evening from the River Wharfe, immediately below the weir at Otley Mills, was witnessed by a large crowd of spectators. Strangely enough, the name of one of the men, who figured most prominently in the rescue – a man who entered the water in shirt and trousers – was not discovered until Wednesday. He was eventually found to be Mr Thomas S Swann, of Westgate, Otley. The children were playing in the shallow water above the weir when the younger was swept by the force of the current over the weir into a deep pool at the foot of the damstones. Her sister tried to save her but also got into difficulties. Mr Swann was wading at the water’s edge with his little daughter, and he immediately went to the younger girl’s aid. He plunged into the river and swam out in shirt and trousers. By the time he reached the girl she had sunk twice. He brought her safely to the bank where artificial respiration had to be applied.
The funeral took place on Saturday, at Guiseley Cemetery, of the late Mr W Walton, of Harrogate, and former station master of Guiseley. The Ven SE Lowe (Rector) conducted the service in the church, prior to interment. There was a representative attendance of mourners, including many railway workers and personal friends. There was a parade of ambulance workers from the Drill Hall, Guiseley, to the parish church for the service.
The Vicar of Otley, the Rev Patrick Ashe, and his wife and family of six children, have moved into a temporary home under canvas and in a caravan on the Weston Lane housing estate, where the Vicar hopes to make a survey of what is needed for developing the spiritual life of the community, and to provide an opportunity for residents to get to know the clergy better. The temporary home of the vicar and his family will be in a caravan on spare land at the far end of Meagill Rise at the junction with Weston Drive.
Otley Division police force is to lose one if its best-known officers with the retirement of Chief Inspector Thomas William Glasspool, BEM, of Burley. Chief Inspector Glasspool was on duty at Otley Magistrates’ Court for the last time on Friday and his final appearance in uniform will be at Otley’s Civic Sunday service this week-end. He has had 33 years’ service in the West Riding police force. He was promoted Sergeant when he moved from Skipton to Pontefract after seven years’ service, and soon afterwards began six years’ war service with the military police in North Africa, Italy, Jugoslavia and Austria. He rose to the rank of major and was twice mentioned in despatches. On returning to the police force he was serving at Godlthorpe when he was promoted Inspector in 1946, and was Det-Inspector at Halifax when he was transferred to Otley.
The old established firm of B S and W Whitely, Pool Mills, which has been a major employer of local labour for close on a century, has announced that 44 redundancies are to take place from August 12. Founded in 1886 by brothers Benjamin, Samuel and William Whiteley, the paper-making firm remained under the control of three generations of the Whiteley family until 1981 when it went into liquidation and was taken over by the Swiss Group Weidmann A.G., the world’s leading manufacturer of transformer insulating material. For a long number of years the business was centred in a riverside mill on the north side of the main road between Otley and Pool. In more recent years it was transferred to newer premises on the opposite side of the road, the original buildings being taken by various smaller concerns.
A new Morrison’s superstore in Guiseley would clear up a notorious eyesore, a public inquiry at Yeadon Town Hall was told. Two women whose houses overlook the controversial site jumped up at the hearing to plead for the new supermarket to be built. One, who lives in Holly Court Old People’s Flats, interrupted the inquiry into the Aireborough, Horsforth and Bramhope local plan to say the planned store would stop the Otley Road becoming a “ghost town”. She said: “This site is an eyesore. There are a lot of people in the town who want this supermarket.”
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