125 Years Ago - 1894

During the earlier part of the week sums of money were distributed amongst the poor people of the village, through the generosity of Mr. Oddy, J. P., as also a number of parcels of underclothing, kindly contributed by Mrs. T. C. Lister, of Farfield Hall.

100 Years Ago - 1919

Jessie McKay, an Ilkley newsagent, who is also a well-known palmist, was summoned at the Otley Police Court on Friday for pretending to tell fortunes. Two young women stated that they met McKay at her house by appointment, and she attempted to foretell their future. One of the young ladies was told that she made her own enemies in love affairs, and that in 1921 she would become engaged, but the engagement would be broken off. The other witness was told that she would have two children and would be a widow in early life; that she would marry again shortly afterwards, and would again become a widow.

The death took place at Otley on Monday of Mrs. Elizabeth Ducarel Constable, who resided at The Manor House , and was one of the oldest residents of the town. Mrs. Constable was a descendent of the old French nobility who fled from France at the time of the Revolution. Her father was the Marquis and Count de la Pasture, of the Kingdom of France, and she herself was born in France, but came to England at an early age. In 1865, she married Mr. Thomas Constable, a solicitor who practised in Otley, and who who died in 1891. Mr. Constable founded the Roman Catholic Church at Otley in 1851.

75 Years Ago - 1944

The retirement after 47 years postal service in Ilkley, of Mr. Tom Williams, recalls to the mind of older residents one of Ilkley’s most picturesque cottages towards the close of the last century. Mr. Williams was born in Green Lane Cottage, which stood on the site now occupied by the Kiosk Cafe, when The Grove was known as Green Lane, and earned its name. The old thatched cottage was a favourite subject for photographers, and with its rose garden and a background of tall trees and fields was indeed a bonny spot. When Mr. Williams was born there some 60 years ago, it was the home of his grandfather, Tom Richardson, a well-known village cobbler. The cottage was pulled down about 50 year ago.

Among the happiest assemblies of the holidays was that at the New Cinema, Ilkley, on Wednesday morning. As part of the Christmas festivities for evacuees, over 400 children from Ilkley, Burley and Menston, were entertained through the generosity of the management to a special showing of the film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

50 Years Ago - 1969

Evidence about the effects of aircraft noise on local schools and hospitals given before the enquiry into the proposed runway extension at Yeadon Airport was adjourned for the Christmas break. Mr. Norman Fleming acoustical consultant said that hospital required special consideration. Though no specific recommendations had been formulated regarding maximum permissible noise in connection with hospitals it was obviously desirable that patients should not be submitted to a general noise exposure greater than could be accepted by a healthy individual.

25 Years Ago - 1994

A trip to see some friends who were staying in a hotel over Christmas allowed one of our scribes to put his feet up and take advantage of the satellite television facilities. He switched on, expecting to see England taking on the Australians, but was disappointed to see a screen badly affected by interference. He inquired as to the problem and was told that guests had been informed that that the reception was so poor due to ... pigeon droppings in the dish.

Leonard Baxter, of Otley, reckons he was one of the last men in Otley to move cattle by the old method of droving - moving them from one place to another on foot rather than by loading them onto trucks. Now retired, he is a former manager at Farnley Hall and during the war when petrol was hard to come by, he and his dogs used to bring cattle into Otley the hard way.