125 Years Ago - 1895

Death has this week displaced a well-known figure in Ilkley and Burley - Phillips, the greengrocer - who died at the latter place, where for many years he has resided. Nearly thirty years ago he was coachman to Ben Rhydding Hydro. Establishment, and his presence at Ben Rhydding Station, attending to the arrival and departure of of visitors, was well-known, for he was ruddy and cheerful of countenance, and of most obliging manner. His life may be said to have been a struggle, for his family have always been greatly afflicted, and yet he seemed to work on without being disconsolate. His position was a humble one, but, nevertheless, his civility and sympathetic action won for him much respect. He leaves a wife and several daughters, all afflicted, and unable to provide for themselves.

100 Years Ago - 1920

The centralisation of the various medicinal springs in Ilkley has often been talked about, but so far nothing more than talk has ensued. If it could be possible to consign the many drinking cups and chairs in Ilkley to the local museum and provide a municipal pumproom as Dr. Veale suggests. Ilkley would be well on the way to establishing its rightful position amongst the health resorts of the country. As a preliminary step to this an up-to-date medicinal analysis of its mineral waters is needed.

A new idea worthy of the fullest consideration is the suggestion to build small thatched chalets on the Moors, out of site from the general view, to be rented to visitors. Scarborough is reaping a rich harvest from chalets of this character recently built on the Cliff, and there is no reason to believe that the Ilkley Moors would not be as favourably or even more favourably considered by seekers after health.

75 Years Ago - 1945

One of Otley’s oldest remaining crafts came into the news last week when Otley Council discussed and approved - though not without some criticism - a proposal for a depot in Bondgate. The proposal entails, amongst other things, the destruction of the rope works buildings and the “rope walk” where Mr. J. R. W. Margerison has for many years carried on the trade of rope and twine making. There’s a grand romantic link with the past behind Mr. Margerison’s work, for this ancient craft has been in the same family for three generations.

Sergeant William Hollings (38), who served with the Otley Battery in France and was evacuated from Brest in 1940, is now in Italy. He is serving with an anti-tank regiment and in recent letters to his wife at 33, The Crossways, Otley, he describes meeting with an Otley boy in Rome.

50 Years Ago - 1970

Widespread interest has been aroused in the district this week with the opening of Morrison’s £250,000 supermarket at Yeadon - an ambitious venture which provides a modern shopping centre designed to attract custom from far afield. The site of the new development is what is known locally as Starkey’s Field, near the top of High Street, and on which for many years had stood rows of stone-built terrace houses, now demolished.

Burley has always had a reputation among its residents as being a particularly healthy place and their claims certainly seem to be borne out by the current issue of the Parish magazine. It records eight deaths, during the past two months, with ages ranging from 63 to 91 - an average of 76 years!

25 Years Ago - 1995

A missing trophy know as the Misere Cup has turned up after 18 years. The dull metal trophy - awarded annually to the loser of an international bowls match - was found when a town hall office was cleaned out.

Lily Watson, 81, of Lister Street, Ilkley, was served up a pancake after completing Bradford Council’s Countryside Service Shrove Tuesday Walk. Ramblers taking part in the five-mile event met at Ilkley station to catch the train to Menston. The return leg route to the station was made via the White Wells Spa Cottage, where the walkers had the opportunity to tea, coffee, and, of course, pancakes. Mrs Watson was the oldest walker taking part and was helped by a friend.