125 Years Ago - 1893

Information has been received at Otley Police Station that a married woman, from Gateshead, named Mary A. Reid, about 30 years of age, has disappeared under somewhat suspicious circumstances from the Stoney Lea Hydropathic Establishment at Ilkley, where she has been staying. It appears that on Monday she engaged a cab at Ilkley and alighted at Burley, near the church, which she entered. Returning to the cabman, she informed him that she could now dispense with his services, and went away on foot. Next morning a letter was delivered at the Hydro intimating her intention to drown herself in the Wharfe between Burley and Otley. It would appear that the lady has carried out her threat, for nothing has been seen or heard of her up to the hour of writing, though a hat and jacket have been found on the banks of the Wharfe.

Highway robbery - On Monday night Alexander Clements, sewing machine agent, of Church Street, Ilkley, was attacked by three men at Cocking End, near Addingham. He was knocked down and robbed. The sum of 16s. was taken from him.

100 Years Ago - 1918

The Home Secretary states that the military authorities consider it is not desirable to relax the order as to lighting restrictions. Apart from air-raid precautions, the use of lights in shop windows is prohibited on the ground of economy.

We have received a cutting from a Toronto paper announcing the death from wounds in France of Corporal Shoeing Smith James Blagg of the R.C.H.A, which occurred on August 10th. Corporal Blagg had been in Canada thirteen years, and at the time of joining the Army was in business as a blacksmith in Toronto. Corporal Blagg was a partner in a blacksmith business in Ilkley up to going to Canada.

75 Years Ago - 1943

Gunner Frank Metcalfe, R.A., (30), has been transferred from a prisoners of war camp in Italy to Germany. He is the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Metcalfe, Moorland Drive, Guiseley, and the news of the transfer is contained in a letter they have received from him. Gnr. Metcalfe was first reported missing in the Middle East, but was later officially stated to be a prisoner of war in Cyrenaica.

Flying-Officer Dennis Ludley, R.A.F., of Guiseley, writing to his brother from North Africa , says: “I know it will interest the Guiseley A. F. C. committee and supporters, that while stationed here in North Africa, a young man came to me and asked if I could get him a game of ‘Soccer’. I recognised him at once as Hoyle, the Guiseley goalkeeper, and as the Area team were playing a ‘crack’ French team, and were short of a goalkeeper, I immediately rang up Area officials and told them I knew Hoyle’s capabilities, and recommended him for the position. The game took place in a stadium which was Wembley on a rather smaller scale, and although I’ve seen Hoyle play many fine games in my home town, he ‘brought down the house’ with his fine display.

50 Years Ago - 1968

While driving a Ford Popular car along Denton Road, Ilkley, Mr Idris Campbell, of Oak Close, Burley, was waved down by a pedestrian and told his front tyre was on fire and flames were coming from the engine. After he and his passengers left the car it suddenly went up in flames and was almost completely burnt out.

The construction of a new reservoir on Ilkley Moor by Rombalds Water Board will cause a nine months period of inconvenience and restrictions on the area near the pumping house and opposite the entrance to the Ilkley College of Education, Cr. A. Marshall told Ilkley councillors, stating that work will begin in a few days.

25 Years Ago - 1943

Scrumptious carrot cake is putting an Ilkley tea room on the healthy eating map. Victorian Tea rooms has become one of a small number of businesses to receive a local and national Heartbeat Award.

Snow did little to dampen enthusiasm as Michael McGowan met pensioner delegates at Leeds Bradford Airport. The Leeds Euro MP was on hand to to wish the delegates well as they join 519 others from all over Europe at the European Pensioners’ Parliament in Luxembourg.