125 Years Ago - 1894

Ilkley -The old fashioned feast of 40 years ago, when a few nut and gingerbread stalls in Church Street, the then main thoroughfare, sufficed to mark the event, has of late years developed into high dimensions, with an array of the most modern and costly appliances for supplying amusement. “Three balls a penny” is the cry and plea which endeavours to make itself heard at country feasts amidst the continual and discordant grinding of whirligig organs, the clatter of rowdyism, and the banging of muzzle-loading guns.

The Besses o’ th’ Barn Band gave a concert in the Yeadon Cricket Field, on Sunday afternoon, when about 3,000 persons were present.

100 Years Ago - 1919

We have occasionally heard motorists and cyclists complaining of the bad state of the roads in the Ilkley district, and during the war they seemed to be more neglected than in some parts of the country we traversed; though there is one factor which motorists and cyclists seem to lose sight of, and that is the extraordinary amount of motor traffic which passes over these roads. Bradford and Leeds are within easy distance of Wharfedale, and thousands of motorists and char-a-banc parties from these places continually make this district their objective; while it has also become a favourite resort for Lancashire people.

The food question during the winter seems to be a serious one. Food may be fairly plentiful in places like Ilkley, but when one gets out into the agricultural districts some commodities are very scarce. Even eggs, butter and milk are difficult to obtain, and where such food is produced this would seem strange; but farmers are not directing their energies to to milk, butter and egg production, and what they have to dispose of they sell to the wholesale dealers.

75 Years Ago - 1944

Addingham’s oldest inhabitant, Mrs Sarah Ann Foster, of High Mill Lane, died on Monday. She would have been 91 had she lived another fortnight. Mrs Foster was the widow of Mr George Forster, who died 42 years ago. She had lived in the same house for 51 years and was the mother of 17 children, six of whom are living.

Many people took advantage of the revised black-out regulations this week to dispense with their thick or black curtains and substitute for them a more flimsy material. the general effect has been pleasant indeed after just over five years of stumbling about in the dark. The Ilkley Council staff wasted no time in providing light by means of street lamps, and thanks are due to the depleted staff for the way in which they had most lamps working for the first official night of the “dim-out.”

50 Years Ago - 1969

A start to the demolition of the Essoldo Cinema at Ilkley this week has brought back memories to many residents of the day when the building, then known as the New Cinema, was opened. Popular prices of seats ranged from sixpence to two shillings and for the opening night in 1928 the “house” was full to see “7th Heaven”.

The visit to Ilkley in October of the Mayor and three other delegates from Coutances, France, to ratify the “twinning” of the two towns will be a unique occasion. Although other places have established links with foreign towns, meetings have rarely been arranged such as this one.

25 Years Ago - 1994

Double decker buses in Wharfedale are facing trouble and may eventually go the way of the dodo. By the turn of the century they could be as rare as red telephone boxes, once a common and distinctive part of the British landscape. The Economic Commission for Europe is threatening the design by trying to standardise specifications for bus manufacturers. An EC directive being formulated may make double-deckers uneconomic by cutting the number of seats by about 25 per cent.

A reunion of women who once performed in pantomimes together was so successful that it has now sparked off a yearly event. The Park View Young Wives Club of Yeadon used to produce and appear in pantos together in the 1960s.