125 Years Ago - 1893

A boy named Fred Burnell, about 15 years of age, was rather seriously injured on Saturday last, by falling from a chestnut tree in Farnley Park. When picked up he was insensible.

Case of Supposed English Cholera - Mr John Bland, 49 years of age, who resided at Guy Croft, Otley, died somewhat suddenly on Saturday last. The deceased had been suffering from diarrhoea for some two or three days. Dr. Williamson was sent for but despite all that skill and attention could do, the deceased expired.

100 Years Ago - 1918

Mr Ernest L. Pyke lectured in the King’s Hall, Ilkley, last night on his three and a half years as a prisoner of war in Germany. Mr. Pyke said he left England on July 25th, 1914, for a short holiday in Germany, and was there when war was declared. He was first interned in a convict prison, being lodged in a dark cell, where his only companions for three and a half months were rats as big as cats. He was from here taken to Ruhleben Camp.

The local resident representative of the Waste Paper Depot at 34, Leeds Road, Ilkley, will be pleased to advise you how best to dispose of your accumulation.

75 Years Ago - 1943

Two Otley lads, both injured at El Alamein, were among the scores of Yorkshiremen in the convoy of wounded from the Middle East and North Africa , which arrived at Bradford last Thursday. They are Driver Leslie H. Hunter, of 4, Newall Carr Road, and Trooper Herbert Gaskell, of 92, The Crossways. They are now in hospital together and Dvr. Hunter has already been home.

Driver John R. Atkinson, R.A.S.C., of 26, The Crossways, Otley, writes that he has completely recovered from injuries sustained during a battle in the Middle East in March. He thanks the Otley Comforts Fund for the gift of 15s. He adds that he has “travelled a bit” since he joined up two years ago, but has only met two local men. One from Otley, and the other, who passes the “Wharfedale” on to him, is a Horsforth man in his company. Driver Atkinson adds: “I cannot tell you where I am stationed, but there is nothing but sand and more sand for miles around, and we are pestered with flies all day long. It is very hot and boring.”

50 Years Ago - 1968

A New Zealand girl Miss Joe Walker, who now lives in Ilkley, was on holiday in Czechoslovakia when the Russians marched in. In an article for this paper she writes: “At about 4am on the 21st my friend heard planes zooming over at roof level at 30 second intervals - dropping paratroopers, we were told later. Then about 6.30am spurts of machine-gun fire were to be heard in the distance. Soon after 7.30am Radio Prague faded out to the strains of gun-fire and the Czech national anthem. Breakfast time was a rather tense affair, more like some terrible nightmare from which we expected to awake finding that all was well. But nine ugly tanks rumbling past our hotel soon made us realise that this nightmare was real.”

Local doctors will transfer their practices from their homes to the new Ilkley Health Centre when it opens in Springs Lane within the next month. The Health Visitors will also be based in the Health Centre. There are five consulting suites, consisting of a consulting room and examination room, which will be used on a shared basis by the family doctors and the local health authority doctors as necessary.

25 Years Ago - 1993

Ilkley’s empty Grove Hospital could be reopened and transformed into a new community hospital serving the Wharfe Valley. The town’s Conservative MP, Gary Waller, yesterday revealed that a mystery National Health Service trust wanted to buy the Victorian building and invest a ‘seven figure sum’ in modernising it.

Ilkley Grammar School reaches a momentous occasion in its 386-year history on Monday. For Monday September 20 marks the centenary of the school on its present site in Cowpasture Road. A special booklet, ‘Ilkley Grammar School - a centenary at school 1893-1993’, has been written by Tony Barringer and old boy of the school and later an English teacher there for eight years.