Stories from our files

First published in Across the Years

25 years ago – 1987

Company Anniversary – A number of celebrations extending over several days have been planned to mark the 150th anniversary of William Sinclair and Sons (Stationers) Ltd., one of the oldest firms in the district and a major employer. They include presentations, a banquet for the entire workforce and a service of thanksgiving followed by a two-day exhibition of artefacts, photographs and documents.

Hospital Battle – "Hands off our hospital" was the theme of an all-party protest march and rally at Otley on Saturday. A cold wind and heavy showers did not deter 200 people, many carrying banners, and headed by the town band, who marched from Wharfedale General Hospital to a meeting outside the Civic Centre.

50 years ago – 1962

School Terms – So much local support has been received for the idea, put forward by the Wharfedale Headteachers Association, that the school year should consist of four terms instead of three- which would mean the long midsummer holiday would be replaced by two shorter ones, probably in June and September – that steps are being taken for it to be discussed at national level.

Gasworks – Although it is expected that sometime next year the gas works at Otley and Yeadon will cease as manufacturing units, this does not mean the gasometers that are such a feature of the local scene are to disappear. They will remain as storage units for the supplies to be piped in from other areas. It is 125 years since the manufacture of gas was introduced into Otley.

75 years ago - 1937

Long Service – The nominations for the new authorities set up by the County Council’s review of areas has brought to an end a remarkable record of public service at Burley, which is believed to be unique in the country. Mr Joseph Hartley Foulds, "father" of Burley Urban Council for many years, has decided, at the age of 86, that he will not seek election to the enlarged Ilkley authority which now controls Burley. With the exception of his duties as Justice of the Peace, his public service will come to an end after no less than 49 years.

Peace Work – The effect on the League of Nations of the newly formed Peace Pledge Union was mentioned at the annual meeting of the Ilkley and District Branch of the League of Nations Union, held in the –Grove School on Friday evening.

100 years ago – 1912

Topical Tattle – Pauper! This word is to be abolished from the vocabulary. The Wharfedale Board of Guardians have said so. It must go.

It is harsh and it hurts. There was a time when the feelings of the poor did not matter a tinker’s curse, for in the words of a wise West Indian proverb, "Poor man can no vex."

But those days are gone. Nowadays nothing must be said to hurt the feelings of the Workhouse inmate – be he a disreputable wastrel or one of life’s unhappy failures. So the word Pauper – which is the only word in the English vocabulary which exactly describes the condition of these people – must go.

Yeadon Accounts – The Gas Company’s Collector will attend, for the settlement of accounts, at the Out Vestry, High Street Lecture Hall, on Friday evening, March 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th.

125 years ago – 1887

An Unpleasant Revelation – At the Otley Local Board meeting on Monday night, Mr T. A. Duncan presiding, Mr Joseph Barber asked the water inspector if he was aware that one of the Board’s reservoirs on East Chevin was being used for storing or breeding fish for the benefit of the Otley Angling Club. He had heard as a fact that trout fry were put there, and when they had grown large enough were taken out and put into the Wharfe.

Pasteur Patient – Constable W. Robinson, who was bitten by a dog belonging to Mr Shackleton, of Guiseley, has gone to Paris for treatment under M. Pasteur.

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