125 Years Ago - 1894

On it becoming generally known in Otley that the local board had spent £1,200 in boring in search of water at Menston, and were contemplating further expenditure, considerable interest was manifested in the matter by the public, and the recently formed Ratepayers Association convened a meeting. A resolution was passed requesting the Local Board to go to no more expenses in the matter.

We deem it necessary to state that the advertisement of the half-day holiday arrangement is somewhat misleading in stating that the tradesmen of Ilkley unanimously decided to close their establishments. This may have been the decision of a few who met for the purpose, and whilst offering no objections to their arrangement, we nevertheless think it unwarrantable that they should take it upon themselves to assume others would do likewise.

100 Years Ago - 1919

The enormous increase in motor traffic since the war terminated, has greatly increased the danger to other classes of road users, in view of the reckless driving that many motorists indulge in. Some of these road hogs seems to think that the highways are alone for them, and everything has to clear out of the way for their passing. People crossing the roads often do so at considerable risk of being knocked down and run over, and ordinary cyclists are driven into the gutters repeatedly to escape being run into.

Last Monday night a most enjoyable ball was held in St Margaret’s Hall, a good number of people being present. A waltzing competition was held.

75 Years Ago -1944

The fierce fighting for possession of the important bridge near Nijmegan, which has been a focus of attention for the past nine days, has been of more than ordinary interest to several members of the Ilkley Ladies’ Hockey Club. When they toured Holland, a few years before the war, they had a fixture with the Nijmegan Club and whilst there were conducted over the now famous bridge. At that time it was nearing completion, and a few months later was opened by Queen Wilhemina.

The following are extracts from a letter received by Mrs. Crockatt, of Whitehaven, Bolling Road, from Major C. Denby Clark, whose parents, missionaries in Siam, are now prisoners in Japanese hands. He has made his home since childhood with Mrs Crockatt, and is now in command of a field surgical unit which was one of the first to land on D Day. He writes: - Yesterday we were in Paris. What a glorious city! Since my last letter we have travelled far, but done little work. The last journey in convoy was remarkable for magnificent scenery and cheerful greeting on the way. It was good to see so many happy faces.

50 Years Ago - 1969

Neglected and dilapidated, the White Wells with weeds growing around it, is now close upon the stage before demolition when the slightest tremor could bring about complete collapse. Unless there is a realisation of the need for greater urgency the present council may win a distinction which will be no garland around its neck.

A native of Ilkley who has paid a return visit after an absence of nearly 20 years has been disturbed by what has happened to the place. Apart from the improvements around the parish church, he regards the bottom of Brook Street, with its empty shops, its vivid posters and what he describes as a general appearance of untidyness being outside the picture of Ilkley he has kept in his mind. Overgrown Hebers Ghyll he found disturbing and the state of the White Wells distressing.

25 Years Ago - 1994

Ilkley’s reputation as a mobile phone blackspot could be cured by a new bid to install a transmitter in the area. Users of the Cellnet system are angry that they have been unable to make calls in the town centre for about three months. Ilkley’s topography has a history of frustrating technology. Television viewers suffered poor ITV pictures in the 1950s, while listeners to Radio One have had to continually retune since the station changed to FM frequency.