125 Years Ago - 1893

The Rev. E. Wilkinson, of the Church of England Temperance Society, addressed an open-air meeting in the Market Place at Otley on Tuesday evening last. There was a fairly large number of persons present, and the address was well appreciated.

Freak of Nature - Mr. Baldwin, of the Cross Inn, Guiseley, has within the past few days had a duckling hatched which has three perfect legs and feet. The duckling is alive.

100 Years Ago - 1918

The value of tame rabbits for food is only just beginning to be realised, although the prejudice against them is still considerable. Many people cannot bear the idea of eating rabbits bred and reared in a hutch, yet the so-called Ostend rabbits which we have been eating all our lives, up to the outbreak of war, were tame rabbits collected in Belgium, France and Holland. Mr. C. A. House, editor of “Fur and Feather,” who lectured at Ilkley on poultry keeping, says that rabbits can be fed at a cost of about 2d. per week, and that he has fattened them on nothing but waste.

There was a demonstration of fruit bottling without sugar in St. Margaret’s Hall on Wednesday afternoon, and as it is necessary to provide all the food possible, and jam is scarce, school children might undertake the gathering of wild fruit such as bilberries and blackberries.

75 Years Ago - 1943

Private Wallace Watson, a Yeadon man who has been serving in the Middle East for three years and is now in Syria, will tomorrow hear for the first time the voice of his only son , Geoffrey, whom he last saw as a baby in arms. Geoffrey is now a little man of four, not yet at school, but but sturdy and self assured. On Tuesday, shepherded by his two grandmas - Grandma Watson and Grandma Kitchen - he visited the B.B.C. studio at Leeds for an audition. Geoffrey spoke into the microphone as if the experience was an every-day occurrence. He gave the message: “Hello, Dad, Mum, Grandma, and Granddad are all OK. Look sharp and come home and bring me a big engine. Cheerio from Mum, Geoffrey, with love and kisses.”

A personal message has been received by the parents of a local boy who is a prisoner of war. Driver W. E. Crabtree, whose parents live at Whin Castle Farm, Askwith, has sent a postcard saying he is in good health. He is a prisoner in Japanese hands, official notification of this fact having been received two months ago. Driver Crabtree, aged 23, was in the Royal Corps of Signals, and before being called up with the first militia worked on his father’s farm. He went abroad over two years ago and was in the fall of Singapore.

50 Years Ago - 1968

Two 18-year-old Wharfedale students who have tackled a hitch-hike to India and back before starting at university in the Autumn, are now at Katmandu. They are Christopher Wright, of Briardale, Otley, and Steven Rae, of Ben Rhydding. They plan to leave India at the end of this month, arriving home about the second week in September, just leaving time to prepare for university - Christopher to Oxford and Steven to Cambridge.

Members and officials of the Ilkley Urban District Council and the Editor of the Ilkley Gazette were conducted round the International Wool Secretariat Technical Centre at Valley Drive, Ben Rhydding, on Wednesday by members of staff. By helping to bridge the gap between the laboratory and the mill the centre is expected to provide a valuable service for the wool-textile and carpet industries of the whole world.

25 Years Ago - 1993

The vexed question of Sunday trading is about to raise its head again. The Home Office has published a draft Bill offering four options for reforming the current trading law. People questioned in our random survey in Ilkley certainly held strong views on whether shops should open on a Sunday - but they were far from in agreement.

A recent opinion poll in West Yorkshire found that nine out of ten people, including most smokers, believe that eating places and pubs should provide smoke-free areas.