125 Years Ago - 1895

The annual servants’ ball, which is so eagerly looked forward to by a great many of the Ilkley tradespeople and friends of the servants connected with the Ilkley Wells House, was held on Friday in the Winter Gardens adjoining the hydro. There were present a large gathering. Dancing, which commended about nine, was kept up until three in the morning.

During the week, frost having set in, skating has been indulged in on the Tarn, much to the delight of many of the inhabitants of Ilkley.

100 Years Ago - 1920

The most striking indication of the extent of the amount of distress in the town was to be seen on Saturday evening when members of the Otley Congregational Social Institute entertained about 230 poor children. The distribution of the invitations had been left largely to the teachers in the day schools who appeared to have carried out their difficult task with tact and discretion.

Guiseley Council - With regard to the Council’s fire engine, Mr. Sunderland thought a fresh place should be found for it. It was getting spoiled by dust, and should at least be covered up. Mr. Robinson said there would be better accommodation in the present building after a while. It was decided to bring it to the attention of the fire engine committee, with a view to the provision of some kind of covering for the engine.

75 Years Ago - 1945

Another of the Army Welfare films, “Calling Blighty,” in which local men and women serving in India and Burma are seen and heard, will be shown at the Tower Picture House, Leeds, on Monday. This will be the biggest show of the series, with more than 120 Servicemen speaking messages to an audience that is expected to number 1,000. Messages from local men include Signalman A. E. Charge, of the Royal Signal Corps, whose wife lives at 4, The Row, Apperley Lane, Rawdon. Another local man in the film is Private Stephen Marshall, whose parents live at 63, Henshaw Avenue, Yeadon.

L/Cpl. S. Smith, of 16, The Green, Otley, a former member of the Editorial Staff of this paper, now serving on the Italian front, describes how he spent Christmas, in a letter received this week: - “It’s been a white Christmas, I’m writing this looking out over a wide expanse of white, sunlit mountains, with my dug-out a couple of yards at my back, built into the hillside. Snow fell the night before Christmas Eve, and I saw Christmas in on sentry looking over Jerry territory, in a bitterly cold wind. At midnight the church bells came ringing up from the village way down below us. The guns were silent. Like a sentimental fool I began to hum “Peaceful Night,”my thoughts flew homeward, and hot tears were in my eyes.”

50 Years Ago - 1970

This week’s issue has been brought out under considerable difficulties, with a large proportion of our type-setting and technical staff affected by the flu epidemic. We apologise to readers, advertisers and correspondents that some items have had to be curtailed and others held over.

Christmas postal arrangements in the Ilkley District went according to plan.With favourable weather conditions and a good response by the public to campaigns launched by the Post Office no mail was left undelivered by Christmas Eve. This was the verdict of Ilkley’s Postmaster, Mr. G. Parkin, who said the heavy mails increasing daily by thousands of letters and cards over the Christmas period were dealt with by a staff at Ilkley supplemented by 53 casual workers. Four extra vehicles were engaged.

25 Years Ago - 1995

Police this week pooh-poohed the notion that constables have the time to chase dog-owners who allow their pets to disgrace Addingham pavements.The issue surfaced at a meeting of the village’s parish council where it was decided an example should be made of a guilty dog and his master.

Yorkshire Electricity is offering an amnesty to people who have tampered with their meters during January. People are being asked to contact the company about meter interference without risking prosecutions.