Stories from our files

First published in Across the Years

125 Years Ago – 1887

In accordance with a resolution passed at a late meeting of the Local Board, a meeting of gentlemen invited by circular from the chairman was held in the board-room on Friday evening last, to consider the proposal and elect a local committee with reference to the celebration of Her Majesty’s Jubilee. Mr Holmes, in opening the proceedings, said he had called the gentlemen together with regard to a number of letters and documents he had received from the Prince of Wales, requesting him to establish a local committee in the district of Ilkley to collect and receive subscriptions in connection with the Imperial Institute proposed to be estbalished in commemoration of the Jubilee year of Her Majesty’s reign.

At the Otley Police Court on Tuesday, James Smith, a tramp, pleaded guilty to stealing a bell from the Malt Shovel Hotel, Burley, on the night of Saturday last. Prisoner was committed to Wakefield for a month.

100 Years Ago – 1912

Under the auspices of the West Riding Federation of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies, a meeting was held in the Otley Mechanics’ Institute last night. There was a large audience. Mrs Philip Snowdon was expected to give an address, but it was stated she was unable to be present, owing to a recent indisposition, and the fact she is able to speak to a large meeting at the Albert hall tonight. Mrs J Marston, of Otley, presided, and stated that a local suffragist committee had been temporarily formed in Otley.

A local Government board inquiry was held on Thursday morning in the Town Hall, Ilkley, by Major J Stewart, inspector under the local government board, into the application of the Ilkley Urban District Council for sanction to borrow £3,000 for the provision of an annexe to the King’s Hall. The Council regarded the annexe more of a rounding-off of the King’s Hall, rather than a seperate scheme. The King’s Hall answered admirably for many purposes to which it had been put, but there were one or two features which the hall lacked. The present cloak room accommodation was inadequate and unsuitable. There was only one w.c. for the ladies, and one for the gentlemen.

75 Years Ago – 1937

Burley Urban Council have this week decided to dispense with the services of the village fire brigade, as a preliminary to amalgamation. No more will the Burley ‘fire engine’ be seen dashing along Main Street. To call it an engine may be something of a misnomer. For over forty years, in fact for the whole time of the brigade’s existence, it has been the same red handcart, carrying lengths of hose and surmounted by a 16ft ladder. It has to be pushed to a fire by members of the brigade itself.

Mr Herman Walmsley, clerk to Yeadon Urban Council, and a principal of the form of Walmsley & Mandale, solicitors, Yeadon and Leeds, died suddenly about noon on Saturday, at Northbrook House, Harrogate Road, Rawdon, where he lived. Mr Walmsley was 72 years of age. Early on Saturday morning, he was apparently in normal health, and was looking forward to a morning’s sport with the Bramham Moor Hounds.

50 Years Ago – 1962

An appeal to Otley residents to report and repair any burst water pipes as soon as possible was made by the chairman of the Waterworks Committee, Councillor F Atkinson, at Monday’s meeting of the Council. Coun Atkinson explained that the cause of dirty water in the West Busk Lane area was two bursts in Westgate. He went on to say that while the pipe was being repaired on Sunday morning, there was a blowout, with water spurting as high as the cinema, and unfortunately water had to be cut off as an emergency measure.

Seven people were taken to Otley General Hospital, but only one was detained, following an accident in which three vehicles were involved near Manor Park, Burley, late on Saturday night. A car skidded on the road and came to rest. Another car pulled up and the driver walked across the road to see if the occupants were all right. He was returning to his own car when a van was in collision with it. The van overturned and the man was caught by the bumper of his own car as it was pushed forward, and he received a broken leg.

25 Years Ago – 1987

Since it was launched in 1985, the Wharfedale District Scout Council appeal for a new Scouting centre at Curly Hill, Ilkley, has raised £12,000 towards the target of £20,000. The Scout Council has received an interest-free loan of £5,000, leaving just £3,000 to be found, and two significant events have been planned to complete the task. On Sunday, March 1, more than 500 Scouts, Cubs, Beavers and friends will be walking 16km in the Washburn Valley. A major fundraiser will be a draw, with first prize of a one-and-a-half-hour flight on a British Airways Concorde when it flies in and out of Yeadon Airport on April 25.

Officials of Otley Salvation Army, on whose shoulders has fallen the main responsibility of distributing the free EEC butter to local pensioners, have come across snags which are making their job more difficult. They are finding that people are going to the Salvation Army headquarters in Newmarket on the wrong day, at the wrong times, and are often coming to Otley from neighbouring towns and villages which have their own distribution points.

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