125 Years Ago - 1893

A juvenile bazaar, having for its object the raising of money to assist the work of rescuing and training poor and uncared for children at those most deserving of institutions, Dr. Barnardo’s homes for waifs and strays, was opened in the Burras Lane Schoolroom on Wednesday afternoon last.

On Monday morning, as a carter named Slee, in the employ of Beanlands and Sons, Ilkley, was exercising a horse that was slightly lame, the animal slipped and fell. Slee, who was mounted, was unfortunately dislodged, and the weight of the animal’s body fell on the lower part of Slee’s leg and broke the bone. Dr. Watson was at once summoned, and did all that he could temporarily for the unfortunate fellow, whom it was deemed advisable to convey to the Leeds Infirmary, where the fractured limb was set.

100 Years Ago - 1918

“Peace on earth and good-will toward men” is the key-note of Christmas, and though for four years its advent has found the chief nations and civilisations of the earth at war with each other, the present Christmas sees the world tragedy at an end so far as fighting is concerned. All the same Christmas will not be what it used to be for many, as apart from the altered economic conditions, many of the men abroad will not be able to secure leave to come home, and vacant places will also be many through the heavy death toll the war has claimed.

We can fancy that many whose soldier lads are home for Christmas will be inclined to kill “the fatted calf,” and make merry to some tune; notwithstanding the high price of the things that go to make up good old-fashioned “Christmas Cheer.” It is said there is a shortage of this and a shortage of that , yet the shops are well-stocked with almost everything needed for human consumption, although the quality of some commodities does not reach a standard that human digestion can always tackle with comfort and benefit.

75 Years Ago - 1943

An Austerity Christmas - but things might be worse! The children of Aireborough and Horsforth have been having a foretaste this week of Christmas, and at most of the schools festive parties have been held. The carefree spirit of Christmas has been lacking in no school and, from the comments of the children, a happy time has been spent.

The old Guiseley Christmas charities the Sherburne and Blezard Doles, distributed annually at Christmas, were allocated on Monday. Between £12 and £13 was available for the aged poor of the parish. The Sherburn Dole is derived from the will of Sir Nicholas Sherburne and is a centuries old legacy. Sir Nicholas is believed to have lived at the Esholt Old Hall.

50 Years Ago - 1968

Each Christmas school activities become more and more ambitious. The decorated classrooms, the parties with mince pies, cake, soft drinks and the distribution of novelties, continue for the younger children, but now more and more are writing and producing their own Nativity plays. they are trying their hand at composing their own carols and retelling the Christmas story in their own way.

Some years ago Ilkley Council accepted the view put forward by individuals and some Societies that street lighting periods should be extended so that people returning home from social events could do so with greater safety than in pitch darkness. It was also felt that there were less opportunities for house breakers. People whose homes are in the vicinity of street lamps are now complaining that lamps lighted through the night make it difficult for them to get to sleep. It is certainly hard to please everyone.

25 Years Ago - 1993

Children in Burley-in-Wharfedale decided to brighten up a bleak-looking bridge - and they raised £250 for charity. Pupils at the two village first schools raised the cash for the Children’s Society after linking more than 2,500 paper circles together. Now the paper chain spans the temporary Bailey bridge across the River Wharfe which links road builders working on the Burley bypass with a quarry site.

Guests at a company’s Christmas party in Menston gasped in surprise as ‘the Queen’ swept into their Menston restaurant. In fact, they were treated to a ‘Royal Command Performance’ by actress Jeanette Charles, who has been the top impersonator of the Queen for the last 20 years.