125 Years Ago - 1895

The Rev. H. Kempson begs to acknowledge the receipts of £2 10s. for the poor of Ilkley, left at his house last Sunday by an anonymous donor.

We understand that a large and influential committee of ladies connected with the Congregational and Wesleyan Churches is in active work relieving the distress existing amongst the working classes caused by the severe weather.

100 Years Ago - 1920

Dr. W. W. Chamberlain, Medical Officer of Health, in his report at the meeting of Rawdon District Council, remarked that there were a few cases of influenza of a mild type in the town, and there was a little epidemic at the private school, where there were between 15 and 20 cases; he had also been in a private house that afternoon in Rawdon, where there were no fewer than three cases of influenza.

Amid the many happenings of the week, Wharfedale farmers, it may be taken for granted, have made a note of the fact that butter has been “de-controlled.” The humble consumer is also likely to be aware of the same fact, for his is given the very gentle reminder that he has to pay anything up to double the amount per pound which he was accustomed to pay before butter was “released.”

75 Years Ago - 1945

A Horsforth man, A.C.I. Arthur Read (24), whose wife lives at 261 Broadway, and his parents at Stanhope Drive, and who was previously posted missing in Athens, and believed to be an E.L.A.S. prisoner, is now reported to be safe and in British hands. A.C.I. Read volunteered for the R.A.F. in August 1940, and went overseas in May 1942, going first to Africa, then to Italy and from there to Greece. He was in the first boat to dock in the port of Athens, and he was tremendously impressed by the welcome. In a letter to his mother, written in November, he stated: “We got a terrific welcome all the way up the approaches, crowds gathered on hill tops, house tops, trees, anywhere and everywhere. They cheered, waved flags, clothes, hankies and their arms - and when we reached the quay there were thousands clapping and waving - it was really terrific.”

Pte. Joyce Whitaker, A.T.S., aged 20, only child of Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Whitaker, Granville Place, Otley, is one of the first Otley girls to see service abroad. She is serving in Holland.

50 Years Ago - 1970

Otley Council is so anxious to receive a decision on its loan application for a new drainage and sewage disposal scheme, that the Minister of Housing and Local Government is to be contacted immediately by letter, ‘phone and telegram. The Council is awaiting a decision on the public enquiry held into their application to borrow £438,500 for the scheme, for planning permission to construct works at Knotford Nook, and for a compulsory purchase order.

The truth of the saying that ‘it’s a small world’ has been emphasised through a chance meeting in New Zealand recently which linked the town of Omaru, North Otago, with the village of Burley. Mrs. Peggy Orton, formerly Miss Peggy Robinson, daughter of a former headmaster of Otley Prince Henry Grammar School, has just returned from a visit to New Zealand. “I booked in at an hotel in Christchurch, South Island, she writes. “When I signed the register the young lady said she had some relations in England living at a little place which, she said, I surely would never have heard of, called Burley. I told her I lived for many years just a few miles from Burley.”

25 Years Ago - 1995

Burglars broke into Ilkley Playhouse and wrote a vulgar critique of its last production on a dressing room mirror before escaping with a safe. They also stole an 18th-century wig used in Les Liaisons Dangereuses which - contrary to their graffiti - was reviewed positively in the Gazette.

Walkers are urged not to worry about the digging of a quarter of a mile long trench on the edge of Ilkley Moor. Bradford Council says the temporary measure is necessary to help install electricity at the revamped White Wells museum.