Stories from our files

125 Years Ago – 1887 On Saturday evening last a very enthusiastic though somewhat small meeting of ratepayers was held in the Assembly Room to consider the proposal recommended by the committee to provide a public dispensary for Ilkley and district as a fitting and proper commemoration of the jubilee of Her Majesty’s reign, and to pass a resolution thereon, of any other scheme that should be recommended. The first was a proposal to erect a town hall. This was felt to be a thing which was very desirable, but at the same time one too ambitious for them.

At a well-attended meeting of the committee appointed for carrying out arrangements for celebrating the Queen’s jubilee in Otley, held Monday night, Mr TA Duncan presided. Prior to dividing the town into districts and allotting councillors for each, the chairman suggested members should intimate what sums they intended to give towards the building of a cottage hospital and the providing of a recreation ground. In response, three promises were made of £200 each and two of £100 each.

100 Years Ago – 1912 The interment of the remains of Mr Joe Pickard, an old cricketer, who passed away last week, took place at the cemetery on Saturday last, obsequies being conducted by the Rev J Lamleugh, curate of St Andrew’s Church. Mr Pickard, who had been confined to the house with illness for several months, was at one time a prominent player with the first XI of the Yeadon club, and ranks among the select circle of batsmen who have scored over a hundred runs in an innings, his highest score of 160-odd, we believe, being made against Guiseley.

No football team is complete without its mascot. That is well known. Hence, it is natural that clubs aspiring to success should see that homage is done to the customs of the superstitious. Some person or persons, as the police reports say, decided that Ilkley should not go unprovided. The nature of their mascot, however, proved rather unusual. in appearance it resembled the battered and bruised part of a long disused lamp, painted aluminium colour. When the worthy secretary looked at it, he smiled; when he looked inside, he swore. On a piece of paper was written: “This is the only cup you will get this year.”

75 Years Ago – 1937 The parish meeting for the election of eleven parish councillors to serve Addingham for the next term was held in the High Council School. There was a deplorable lack of interest amongst the ratepayers. Apart from the 12 retiring councillors there were only 12 electors present.

As a sequel to a fatal accident at Rawdon on December 27, sentence of three years’ penal servitude was passed at Leeds Assizes on Wednesday on a foundry manager, of Huddersfield, for the manslaughter of John Crabtree, of Stanningley. He was also sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for causing grievous bodily harm to Ernest Atkinson, of Bramley, and he was disqualified from holding a driving licence for 15 years after the expiration of the sentence.

50 Years Ago – 1962 A business that has been established in the centre of Otley for over 40 years takes on a new look this week, when the Meadow Dairy Co move from their present shop premises on the west side of Kirkgate into the striking new Supermarket on the opposite side of the road. This will be Otley’s first Supermarket. Built on the site of the old Kirkgate Cinema, it is a major development in the town centre.

Burley’s quercifolia tree alongside The Grange has been spared. As a result of public pressure the decision to fell it was referred back by Ilkley Council to the Moors and Parks Committee which has decided to rescind the previous resolution. Coun Eric Smith, chairman of the Moor and Parks Committee, said they had rescinded the minute because it was the wish of the council.

25 Years Ago – 1987 The many attractions, both natural and historical, that can be offered by Otley to encourage tourists are listed by the town council in a formal application to Leeds Environmental Health Committee for the town to be designated as an official Tourist Area. If the application is successful, after a public consultation exercise, the council’s view is that Otley would then be better equipped to cash in on the tourist boom.

Although Harrogate Borough Council would have preferred the line of the proposed Burley bypass to go through the centre of the village, rather than intrude on the Harrogate area – an option which would mean the diversion of the Wharfe and alterations to the picturesque river bank – it feels that it would be unreasonable to put forward formal objections when weighing up the great benefit the bypass would confer on Burley compared with its relatively small impact on the Harrogate area to the north of the Wharfe. The borough council does not intend being represented at the public inquiry into the bypass proposals on May 12.

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