125 Years Ago - 1894

A very hazardous kind of entertainment is being indulged in by a certain class of, to all appearances, fearless youths at the Tarn. The pastime hinted at is rafting by means of the employment of crossed planks, which perhaps have not been left by the Local Board’s employees intentionally for this purpose. It has now been going on for some time, and even though it may be a delightful enjoyment it is also very risky.

100 Years Ago - 1919

Mr. James Dickinson, aged 84, a retired Ilkley tradesman, and one of the oldest residents, met his death under tragic circumstances on Wednesday afternoon. Mr. Dickinson resided in the first of the two cottages in Leeds Road, adjoining the Crescent Hotel, and was a familiar figure to most residents, and know to many visitors. On Wednesday, Mr Dickinson was out and about as usual, and about four o-clock in the afternoon was crossing Skipton Road, opposite the Lister’s Arms Hotel, when he was knocked down by a motor car. He was picked up by the driver of the car and others, and conveyed to Ilkley Coronation Cottage Hospital, but died on the way.

75 Years Ago - 1944

On Sunday next, September 3, we enter upon the sixth year of world war. On all the far-flung battle fronts events are moving with breathless speed. For the Allies the skies brighten with the promise of complete and final victory, the signs are ominous for the arrogant war lords who let loose in Europe the wild beasts of war, and ruthlessly plundered, slaughtered, bombed, suppressed - but never conquered - those who crossed their road to domination.

Victory is in the air. Map markers can hardly keep pace with its advance. We are a nation trained for war. Hard training in camp and factory put men and weapons into battle. But are we trained for peace? Are we equipped as a nation, in home and factory, office and farm, to make peace secure after victory and build a new world?

50 Years Ago - 1969

Many of Ilkley thoroughfares carry the names they do through an association with local families or with national events. The incident on Rupert road this week has prompted some who never thought of it before to ask, “Why Rupert?” It is believed and with some cause that on his way to lead the Royalist forces against Parliamentarians at York, Prince Rupert reached the battlefield on Marston Moor by way of Wharfedale. It is said that he stayed at Denton Hall, the home of the Fairfaxes, and for reasons severally given did not put torch to the place when he left it.

Did Thomas Chippendale in fact ever live in the 18th century double-fronted house in Bondgate, in which, according to a tradition, he made his home with an uncle for some of his boyhood years before he made his name in London? There has been a suggestion that the old house, with its cobbled forecourt, might one day make a suitable museum for the housing of Chippendale relics. But the idea that Chippendale ever lived there is challenged by local a historian.

25 Years Ago - 1994

A television production crew arrived in Ilkley yesterday to prepare filming a live show about aliens and unidentified flying objects. Former BBC children’s presenter Phillip Schofield will lead an investigation into the increasing number of unexplained sightings on Ilkley Moor. The episode of ITV’s Schofield’s Quest is expected to analyse the most documented case on the moor - a picture of a four-foot tall green figure with long arms and red eyes.

Time is running out to save old bridges in Addingham from collapse, a watchdog body warned this week. Tests and structural examinations are not enough if three road bridges in the village are to be preserved for the future, according to Addingham Civic Society. It says the bridges, which were built in the days of horse and cart, are in danger of collapsing under the strain of heavy goods vehicles.