125 Years Ago - 1895

The Distress - The free breakfasts for the children of the poor commenced at the Wesleyan School a fortnight since, still continue to be very generously supported, and largely patronised by those for whose benefit they were instituted, as many as seventy children having been present on one or two occasions.

During the past fortnight between thirty and forty families, comprising about 200 persons, have been considerably relieved in Ilkley. Through the kind generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Jabez Dobson, Craiglands, who are giving away every day twenty-five gallons of soup and thirty loaves of bread, potatoes and pudding, as well as providing hot dinners for the children who fetch the soup.

100 Years Ago - 1920

The greater portion of the allotments in Ilkley are the outcome of the war. They were secured to meet the overwhelming demand for an increase in the available food supply at a time when it was not merely a question of soaring prices making the produce difficult to obtain, but when there was an actual shortage. Though fighting finished 15 months ago there is still need for these allotments. It is all to the good therefore that the Association which has been formed in Ilkley to keep the movement alive should be continued.

Mr. Leonard J. Martin, who purchased 43,000,000 yards of aeroplane linen from the Ministry of Munitions Disposal Board for over £4,000,000, announces that he has disposed of the last yard. This gigantic transaction, which experts said would occupy many years, has been complete in a little more than six months.

75 Years Ago - 1945

From their meeting place in the Crimea the great powers have laid before the world their plans for peace. The leaders of three nations are like our generals who draw up their plan of campaign on paper, but depend for its execution on the individual soldier who takes the enemy machine gun nest. On his courage and moral fibre rests the success of the battle. On the character and determination of the individual citizen rest the hopes for a lasting peace.

50 Years Ago - 1970

After the first month of what he describes as his “holiday of a lifetime”, Mr Vernon Hartley, of Side Copse, Otley, is now at the other side of the world in Freemantle, Australia. On the way he has been to such ports as Las Palmas, Cape Town and Durban, and during the next two months plans to visit New Zealand, Tahiti, Panama and Trinidad.

Although the cold recently may have felt cruel enough to freeze the marrow in one’s bones the temperature has not necessarily made apparently frozen stretches of water safe for skating. Even ice which can support two or three people might crack if a crowd rushes on, and when a frozen pond or disused canal is hard enough for skating the safest place is close to the bank where the ice is likely to be thickest.

25 Years Ago - 1995

Savage financial cuts threaten the future of Ilkley’s Manor House museum and gallery. They will also almost certainly slash some library opening hours in the Wharfe Valley and are causing schools to face an unprecedented cash crisis. Services for the elderly, the disabled and mentally ill will also be affected as Bradford Council tightens its belt to what seems a point of injury.

Vengeance from ‘Earth Mother’ could strike Bradford Council if it proceeds with plans to supply White Wells with electricity. This ominous warning has been issued by the mysterious Company of Vervain - believed to be made up of pagan worshippers - which hails from Bath, Avon. A letter from its members to Ilkley Parish Council says: “We write to voice our fears and disgust at the desecration of an ancient and holy site. From time immemorial water has flowed from the womb of the Goddess Verbea. People have used this precious liquid for healing. We ask your help in stopping this outrage before disaster strikes. They, the Metropolitan Council, are meddling with things they don’t understand.”