125 Years Ago - 1895

M. Camescasse, a French physician, says that the mouth is the receptacle of a multitude of germs, many of which it is most difficult to sterilise. “For this purpose,” remarks Science Siftings, “every sort of powder and wash has been recommended at one time or another and then abandoned. Better than the most elaborate of preparations is plain soap, with which the mouth should be washed every day as thoroughly as are the hands. A wet toothbrush should be passed over the soap and then be used in the mouth, without any water. The saliva makes an emulsion, and the mouth is filled with suds as soon as the teeth are briskly rubbed.

100 Years Ago - 1920

The proposals in connection with the use of stone from the quarries on the Ilkley Moors for the Ilkley Housing Scheme arose during the consideration of the minutes of the Housing Committee. In the minutes of December 12th was the item: “The Question of re-opening the quarry for the purpose of obtaining stone, to be used in connection with the housing scheme, was discussed; it was decided that members of the Committee should meet at the quarry and further consider the matter.”

Ilkley can lay claim to a remarkable case of longevity which deserves more publicity than a humble paragraph in the local news column. Last week the death was recorded of an Ilkley parrot at the reputed age of 120! It cannot be said that representative of the garrulous species in the ornithological world was cut off in its premature youth; on the contrary this particular parrot has gained fame, even of a posthumous kind, since it could be said to be Ilkley’s oldest inhabitant.

75 Years Ago - 1945

A happy account of an all-too-short leave of absence spent in Rome has been received by Mr. Walter Jackson, Guiseley, from a friend, Gnr. J. W. Gray. Gunner Gray says that during his visit, along with hundreds of other Allied troops, he was received in audience by the Pope, and received the Papal blessing. “These audiences,” he says, “are given daily to allied troops of all colours and races.”

An Otley man to arrive home from Burma this week is Bombadier Stanley Howard, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Howard, of Boroughgate, who has been away for two and a half year. Previous to that he was for 18 months in West Africa.

50 Years Ago - 1970

The ‘flu epidemic which has hit many families and business concerns, very nearly achieved last week what strikes, emergencies and war has never done - put the Wharfedale and Airedale Observer in peril of missing an edition for the first time in its 90 years existence. In the early part of last week conditions were difficult, with about half the type-setting and technical staff affected, and the position grew steadily worse as the week went on. As publishing time drew nearer it became almost impossible to put news items into type, and there was a real fear that it would not be possible to get the paper out at all.

According to a survey by Mr Gerald Allison, of Menston, the Christian name Richard easily heads the list of names chosen for boys during 1969. Mr. Allison compiled his lists from birth announcements in Northern newspapers. He found that nearly one in ten baby boys were named Richard, followed in order of popularity by Andrew, James, Robert, David, John, Michael, Nicholas, Timothy, Simon, Charles and Jonathan.

25 Years Ago - 1995

Moves to combat the growing number of vehicles on the district’s roads were due to be discussed today. Measures under the spotlight included continued attention to transport issues in the Wharfe Valley. A study drawn up for Bradford Council by outside consultants recommends reducing the amount of cash spent on new roads and investing in a high-quality public transport service.

The creator of television detective Inspector Morse will be the star guest at a fundraising evening for an Ilkley school. Former teacher Colin Dexter will sign copies of his books and make an after-dinner speech at the town’s Craiglands Hotel.