125 Years Ago - 1893

Several members of Yeadon Local Board paid a visit to Leeds for the purpose of seeing the electric light works in that city. The members were very courteously received by the managers of the company which has the distribution of electricity in Leeds.

At the meeting of the General Purposes Committee of the Otley Local Board Mr. Trow, surveyor, reported as to the state of closets in the yard occupied by Mr Todd’s tenants in Wesley Street and Boroughgate. Mr. R. Hutton refuses to open the passage so that the scavenger may get to the midden with his cart; the result is the closets are so full that they cannot be used, and if the midden is emptied under present circumstances the filth has to be emptied onto the yard. The other occupants of the yard state that they are made ill with the stench.

100 Years Ago - 1918

At the children’s court at Otley an Ilkley schoolboy, aged 10, was charged with stealing postal letters from the Middleton Hotel, Ilkley. The accused had called with a daily paper and when he had gone two letters were missing from a table in the hall. The proprietor of the hotel found the boy with the letters in his possession. The boy was ordered to receive five strokes of the birch rod, the father to pay the costs of the prosecution.

At a meeting of the Wharfedale War Agricultural Sub-Committee it was explained that arrangements could be made for sending migratory gangs of ten German prisoners into each district if proper accommodation could be found for them, and in this way the difficulty of conveyance to and from the workhouse at Otley, where the German prisoners were lodged, would be got over.

75 Years Ago - 1943

Mrs Braithwaite, who lives at Westfield Avenue, Yeadon, has been notified that her husband Corporal Kenneth Braithwaite (30), has been killed in action in Sicily. He had served on several fronts overseas. He was married shortly before going overseas for the last time and had a little daughter whom he had never seen. He was one of nine men who became separated from their comrades in Norway, “borrowed” a ship and, aided by two Norwegians, sailed themselves home. They had trekked 200 miles across Norway in seven days and one of the party who was wounded was pulled by his comrades on an improvised sledge.

After not seeing each other for three and a half years two Rawdon brothers met at Malta. They are the two sons of Mr. and Mrs. J. Exley, of 35, Batter Lane, Rawdon. Jack Exley has served for over three years with the H.A.A and has had a very full experience of the air bombardment for which the island was awarded the George Cross. His brother Kenneth has served 14 months in the Royal Navy.

50 Years Ago - 1968

A 3,000 mile expedition took 15 members of the 1st Ben Rhydding Venture Scouts to Austria and Jugoslavia recently. They left Ilkley on 2 August and spent 17 days on the continent, crossing the Channel from Dover to Ostende.

The lighting of a beacon on top of Otley Chevin on Friday, September 13, will mark the start of one of the most ambitious projects ever attempted by the young people of the district - a Youth Fiesta lasting ten days and including a large scale procession of decorated floats, music and drama evening and many social functions.

25 Years Ago - 1993

The Swan, in Addingham, is reputed to be the local haunt for ghosts. Landlady Kay Foster says she has seen apparitions of a serving lady and coachman floating towards the bar. “And things are always disappearing and turning up in different places,” she said. Last Christmas, in front of customers, a copper plate and picture took on a life of their own and flew from one side of a room to another.

Mill Ghyll at Ilkley took its name from the old mill which was owned by Thomas Lister . He became the landlord of the newly built Midland Hotel when the mill was closed down in 1868. Two years later the Lord of the Manor, Mr William Middleton, gave Mill Ghyll to Ilkley provided the town preserved it as “an arboretory with a clear and rippling stream.”