Historic blue plaque to be unveiled in Otley

Wharfedale Observer: Otley's Market Place, where the plaque will be unveiled Otley's Market Place, where the plaque will be unveiled

A new plaque detailing the key events in Otley’s history is due to be officially unveiled tonight.

The brainchild of resident John Morgan, helped by Jo Allen, the blue plaque has gone up on the front outside wall of The Bay Horse pub on Market Place.

Mr Morgan led a team of volunteers who produced a book, Otley – Past, Present and Future, to commemorate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee back in 1977.

The publication was updated for the Golden Jubilee in 2002 and proceeds have helped fund local community projects.

Mr Morgan came up with the plaque idea as a way of marking 2012’s Diamond Jubilee.

He said: “We had some money left over and I thought a historical plaque for the town would be a good idea.

“So we set about getting it designed, getting it made and getting permission for where to put it in the Conservation Area, which took nearly two years.

“It outlines some of the main events and dates in the town to give visitors an idea of its past and how it expanded as a Victorian industrial and a market town.”

The plaque will be unveiled by MP Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West) at 6.30pm today.

Other guests will include local councillors and members of the team who worked on the Otley – Past, Present and Future book.

The plaque’s first listing is for ‘750 – Anglian Angel Cross Sited at Parish Church’.

Other events noted include the building of the mill dam, in 1130; Thomas Chippendale’s birth, in 1718; the arrival of the railway in town, in 1865; and the building of the original Wharfedal Hospital, in 1907.

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