125 Years Ago - 1893

We are informed that if a sufficient guarantee fund can be provided, Mr. Cohen would be willing to bring to Ilkley, once or twice a week, his military band from the Montpellier Gardens, Harrogate.

Church Lane, Otley, requires attention at the hands of the Local Board. It is probably one of the hardest used avenues in the town; and yet it is not in a satisfactory state. Passing along it three or four times a day are hundreds of operatives from the mill, and skilled artisans from the engineering shops of Messrs. William Dawson and Sons, and Messrs. Payne’s.

100 Years Ago - 1918

In view of the drastic economy necessary in the use of coal, the Controller of Coal Mines desires to draw attention to the importance of developing the resources of any alternative kinds of fuel. Economies in coal consumption and the development of alternative means of fuel are amongst the most needed contributions to the Allied causes. In this district, where moors abound, there are large supplies of peat deposits, and peat makes excellent fuel when properly treated.

Mr. and Mrs. R. T. Bradley, Crescent Terrace, Ilkley, received a telegram on Tuesday afternoon, informing them that their only son, Lieut. Walter Robinson Bradley, R.A.F., had died of malaria at Salonica on June 29th.

75 Years Ago - 1943

Too much importance cannot be attached to the urgency of saving rubber, rags, rope, string and twine. From the kitchen we can still make a powerful contribution with our bones and kitchen waste. There is hardly a direction in which housewives cannot, on one hand, effect economies in consumption, and on the other, assist our war production by redoubling efforts to save items which would otherwise have been thrown away.

Radio-Office I. A. Marshall (22), eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Marshall, Fieldhead Road, Guiseley, was recently home on leave, after his most adventurous voyage of the war with the Merchant Navy. Of his latest trip across the Atlantic he said the ship on which he served left this country as part of a big convoy. Owing to engine trouble the ship lost the convoy. “It took us from 12 to 15 hours to repair the engine, and for the whole of that time we were stranded in Mid-Atlantic, without escort, fully exposed to enemy submarine attacks which were expected at any moment. We subsequently proceeded to Iceland, where we arrived safely. We were told it was a miracle we ever arrived there, as the ocean at that time was infested with enemy submarine.”

50 Years Ago - 1968

Visits to the site of the Roman Fort at Ilkley and an inspection of the Saxon Crosses in the churchyard were included this week in the summer meeting of the Royal Archaeological Institute. Some concern was expressed over the deterioration of the Saxon Crosses and the suggestion made that this could be halted by putting them under cover.

To be thrice passed over for the office of the Poet Laureate - such was the experience of Sir William Watson, who was born at Burley in Wharfedale in 1858, and whose dying words are said to have been, “England does not want my work!” After the death of Lord Tennyson in 1892, many people (including Gladstone) regarded Watson as the Laureate’s obvious successor, but for some incomprehensible reason, the Prime Minister appointed Alfred Austin, though his poetic gifts were negligible compared with those of Watson.

25 Years Ago - 1993

Campaigners have collected more than 8,000 signatures in under a week in a battle to save school playing fields. The figure indicates the strength of opposition against plans to sell off land at Bolling Road First School in Ben Rhydding and at Menston Primary School.

Plans to hold an anti-drugs ‘rave’ dance next weekend have encountered not a word of protest. Organisers are seeking a licence to use East Holmes Field in Denton Road, Ilkley, for an event where teenagers could learn about the dangers of drugs. The idea was first mooted after it was claimed drug pushers were targetting children as young as ten in Ilkley.