125 Years Ago – 1894

The Diocesan inspection in religious knowledge in connection with the National Schools took place on the 20th ult., the examiner being the Rev. R. W. Wilson. He has reported as follows. Girls School.-”The religious instruction throughout this department is in a highly satisfactory condition. Special commendation is due for the great pains bestowed on the intonation and on inflection of the repetition, as well as for its greatest distinctness and accuracy.”

100 Years Ago – 1919

The world is said to be dance mad, and certainly we have never seen more dances in Ilkley than have taken place since Armistice Day. Relief from war tension may be responsible for this, and who can wonder at the ex-servicemen rioting in this way after all they have passed through. Old greybeards may shake their heads and deplore the frivolity that is now so rampant amongst the young people of both sexes, but things will never be the same as they were a generation ago, that is certain; with more leisure, more opportunities for pleasure, and parental control in many instances simply non est. Yet we are not running headlong to perdition all the same, and after a while we shall settle down to a more sober and saner way of life, and England will begin to be “a place fit for heroes to live in.”

Judging from appearances at the annual Martinmas hirings at Otley on Friday, this ancient custom received its death blow. The attendance was very little larger than is usual on market day. The few farm lads who were to be seen were holiday-making and not seeking fresh situations.

75 Years Ago – 1944

A romance between an Ilkley airman and a Belgian girl is revealed by the announcement of the engagement of L.A.C. Neville R Wharton, second son of Mrs. Wharton, Myrtle Bank, Ilkley, and Miss Jane Schillemans, the daughter of an Antwerp solicitor. They met in Belgium when L.A.C. Wharton moved in with the Allied Liberation Forces. He is 22 years of age.

An Otley man who was posted as missing after the battle of Arnhem is now reported to be a prisoner of war in German hands. He is Private Dennis Kelley (20), son of Mrs. F. Jeffery, of 39 Cross Green, Otley, and husband of Mrs. Kelley, of London.

50 Years Ago – 1969

Police warned Middleton Hospital nurses, demonstrating for more pay in the centre of Ilkley last Saturday morning, that obstruction of pedestrian crossings was a summary offence for which they could be prosecuted. Uniformed and bearing placards the nurses, male and female, and some from overseas, held up through traffic at the crossing in Church Street, and the town centre traffic in Brook Street and Station Road.

Not all the residents of Fairfax Road, Menston, are angry over the council’s action in chopping down trees. One has asked why some of the trees were allowed to remain. These shield the morning sun from houses, says the resident, who feels very strongly that it is unfair that the only trees left untouched are the only ones causing any kind of inconvenience.

25 Years Ago – 1994

Not even the fast-living world of rock ‘n’ roll is able to eradicate memories of home sweet home. Well, at least that’s so in the case of Craig Adams, bass player with rock band The Cult. He was born in Rawdon where he attended Benton Park School, and his parents now live in Ilkley. These days the band tends to hang out in Los Angeles. But when asked about his activities before their forthcoming Bradford gig he said he was looking forward to two things. The first was spending a couple of days with his folks, and the second was having a few beers at The Taps Ilkley.

French onion seller Francois Kerivan didn’t appear to let an MP’s accusations that his countrymen were war-time German collaborators threaten his annual visit to Ilkley. Monsieur Kerivan, 67, from Roscoff, Brittany, has travelled every year to the town for nearly quarter of a century, complete with traditional beret and bicycle.