125 Years Ago - 1895

The first meeting of a new musical society, that bears the title of the Ilkley Glee Union was held in a large room of the Wharncliffe establishment on Wednesday evening. There was a fairly good attendance. The union is to be composed of male voices chosen out of the choirs of the various places of worship.

Much excitement was caused in the vicinity of Church Street about noon on Thursday by the running away of a horse attached to a heavy cart. It was stated that the cause of the animals’s fright was the snorting of the steam road roller, which was engaged rolling at the Brook-street end of Leeds Road. The horse, which belonged to Dr. Bates, of Addingham, was under the charge of a young man about 18 years of age, who bravely stuck to his duty until compelled to leave go, being wedged between the cart and railings in front of the Rose and Crown Hotel.

100 Years Ago - 1920

In Spring a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of cycling. At least this is true of a large section of the community, and as it is not often that the rigours of winter cause such a complete cessation of the pastime as had just the departed season of evil memory, so it happens that the young man’s fancy turns cyclewards with greater lightsomeness than usual. A small number of riders have turned out in most weathers, but for the great majority the period of the memorable frost has been an “off” season.

75 Years Ago –1945

Mr Baldwinson, who lives with his daughter and son-in-law at “Charmarie”, Moorland Crescent, Menston, celebrated his 88th birthday last Thursday. A native of Weeton, his mother died when he was five years old and he lost his father five years later. He kept himself from the age of 16 and married when he was 23. Mr Baldwinson well recalls the “hirings” at Otley for he was a “hiring” himself. His first salary for farm work was £1 a year, the second year he was paid £1 10s, and the third year £3. In 1877 he entered hotel service and for the next seven years worked at the Queen’s Hotel, Leeds, and the Station Hotels at Sheffield and Barnsley. He started as “boots” and rose to be a waiter and billiard-marker.

Rome’s a big place, but when Lance Corporal Jim Metcalf, of Burley, went into a shop there recently he walked straight into his brother Herbert. In a letter to his mother at 6, Park Row, Burley, Jim wrote: “I have some great news for you, I have met Herbert. How we met was like this. I went to Rome on seven days leave and was due to go back to camp last Saturday. Well one of my pal’s was walking out of the rest camp in Rome. Herbert saw he was a coldstream so he asked him if he knew me. Of course he said yes, and when he told Herbert I was down on leave in the same rest camp he jumped for joy. He spent all day in Rome finding me and it wasn’t until 7.30pm last Friday night we met. Herbert was in a shop. I walked into the same shop and when I saw him I went mad with joy.”

50 Years Ago - 1970

In the first quarter of 1970 passenger traffic at Yeadon airport reached a new peak in spite of the worst weather for many years in the opening months of the year. In March the total number of passengers using the Airport was 15,890, over 18 per cent up on March 1969.

G.P.O. officials are to be invited to a meeting of the Development Committee of Otley Council to discuss the siting of a proposed new telephone exchange. A planning application has been submitted for use of part of the old gas works site in Charles Street.

25 Years Ago - 1995

About 200 people gathered to see the £5.6m Burley-in-Wharfedale bypass receive its official opening by Sir Marcus Fox MP. The ceremony on Monday was marked by Sir Marcus and Ilkley Parish Council Chairman Anne Leslie being driven along a stretch of the road in a 1935 Lagonda car owned and driven by Ilkley parish councillor Roland Hill. The road is a dual carriageway between Ilkley roundabout and Burley Hall roundabout, with the remainder towards Otley being a wide single carriageway.