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Cow and Calf rocks view on historic guide cover
The famous Cow and Calf rocks in Ilkley feature on the front cover of the first volume in a new series of Heritage Shell Guides covering West Yorkshire.
More than 30 years in the making, the glossy book, written and compiled by William Glossop, features a part of the country not profiled in the famous series of Shell Guides, first published in the 1930s under the editorship of poet John Betjeman and then the painter John Piper.
“The guides had never made money and used to be subsidised to the extent of £30,000 per book even 30 years ago,” Mr Glossop says in a foreword.
The West Yorkshire volume was originally commissioned by Faber & Faber in 1974.
It remained in the pipeline, however, when the oil company withdrew funding from the project.
Interest was renewed with the setting up of the Heritage Shell Guide Trust in 2001, with the help of Shell Guide enthusiast the Bishop of Wakefield, the Right Reverend Stephen Platten.
Gary Verity, chief executive of regional tourist agency Welcome to Yorkshire, welcomed the new publication.
He said: “With an iconic publication like that, when they choose to start the first in a new series with West Yorkshire – how good is that?
“I would have thought there is a lot of potential for two great brands, Welcome to Yorkshire and Shell, to work together for the greater good.”
More than 200 black and white photographs feature locations throughout Bradford district.
Historically, pictures without people or motor cars was a feature of the Shell series, which ran from 1934 to 1984, interrupted only by the Second World War.
Intended as a guide to the counties of England, the volumes concentrated on East Anglia, the Midlands and the areas between London and Land’s End – Betjeman’s first guide in 1936 was about Cornwall. Cumbria, Lanca-shire and Yorkshire were not covered until recently.
William Glossop, now an immigration judge in London, revisited every location in West Yorkshire – by foot, bicycle or car.
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