25 Years Ago - 1994

Little birds have been talking loudly about loud birds on sale at a village shop. Addingham Newsagency has attracted customers from nearly 20 miles away in Grassington to buy its sell-out toys. Other buyers have travelled from as far away as Menston, Guiseley and Keighley although shop owner Bill Preston is now turning away would-be pet owners because wholesalers cannot provide any more of the birds before Christmas. “It is the most popular toy we have had in 11 years here,” he said.

One of Ilkley’s biggest town-centre land auctions this century will be held next month. The epic January sale will see British Rail hand over the 2.03 acres occupied by the Station Plaza to the highest bidder who satisfies its reserve price. The ‘guide price’ for the land is between £400,000 and £450,000.

50 Years Ago - 1969

Mr. W. Bradley, talked to the Leisure in Retirement Group on Wednesday about the early days of motor cycling. He was a pioneer in this field, owning his first motor cycle in 1908. It had no self-starter, no gear-box, and even a short run was a hazardous adventure.

The stamps on display in the Manor House Museum by the Ilkley and District Philatelic Society cover the various methods of transport, on land, sea and air, from camel, airship, canoe and train to reindeer.

75 Years Ago - 1944

Rarely, if ever, has any Christmas been heralded so long ahead as the one of 1944. Partly this may be due to the fact that so many of us were weeks ago packing parcels and writing Christmas messages to those in the Services in the far distant places of the earth, and that this had meant watching posting dates far ahead. And to cater for these needs, Christmas cards and calendars have been prominently displayed far sooner than in days of peace.

On the first day of the New Year the Communal Feeding Centre passes into the charge of the Education Committee. The new canteen committee have much to do in little time. With the Christmas holiday upon them, they have a staff to appoint and other details to arrange before the schools restart in January. School-children and evacuees only are entitled to meals there, and there is a fixed charge of fivepence.

100 Years Ago - 1919

Reference was made at a meeting of Otley Trades’ Council on Sunday to the overcrowding of Wharfedale trackless cars, due to the inadequate service. Mr W. Richmond said there was only one car in the early morning to accommodate fifty passengers. Some of the passengers had to “hang on to the step,” and the female conductor had to perform “acrobatic feats” to distribute the tickets. It was a disgrace that young women should have to travel in a car overcrowded with navvies.

Judging from the appearance of the shops, there is no lack of Christmas fare of any kind this year, although prices still rule high. Yes the majority of residents amongst us are well-to-do, or at any rate comfortably circumstanced, and can afford to indulge in a bit of extra good living and festivity at such a time. There are those who consider that “feasting” spells indigestion, biliousness, and the like, but a doctor has been eulogising the Christmas “feast,” and encouraging people to “eat, drink and be merry.”

125 Years Ago - 1894

The approach of Christmas has no reminder in natural external appearances, frost and snow not, as yet, having come to hand. The month of December has been remarkably mild and fine, and it is only within the last few days that a lower temperature has set in. There is no prospect for the skaters, so the young folks will have to resort to other out door recreations - football, no doubt, will get the benefit.

On Monday evening another shop window conflagration occurred, this time at Mr. Henderson’s, Church Street. The window had been decorated for Christma , having as a ground a large amount of cotton wool. About half-past seven on the evening named Mr. Henderson proceeded to look for something in the window, using a lighted taper, which ignited the cotton wool.