125 Years Ago - 1893

There is a movement in Ilkley to bring about a half-day holiday on Wednesday in each week, for nine months of the year, the excepted months being July, August and September, which are considered to constitute the Ilkley season.

Ilkley Grammar School, which for many years has existed in name only, so far as educational work is concerned, has now assumed tangible shape and form. A new building situate in Cowpasture Road, and commanding an expansive view of the valley, has been erected.

100 Years Ago - 1918

Among those rescued from the “Gallway Castle,” which was torpedoed on Thursday last, was Mrs Shilling and her two children. Mrs. Shilling is the daughter of the Rev. John Woollerton, Wesleyan Minister, Eccleshill, and wife of the Rev. W. W. Shilling, a Wesleyan missionary in the Transvaal. She and her children had been staying at Ilkley for some time, and were travelling to the Cape. They were in a boat which capsized, but got back again and were adrift from soon after the torpedoing, at seven in the morning, until noon.

News has been received of the death in action on September 10th, of Lieut. Leslie G. Hutchinson, eldest son of Mr J. G. Hutchinson, the Bradford City Coroner, who resides at Burley-in-Wharfedale. A younger brother, Lieut. J. G. Hutchinson, was killed in action last November.

75 Years Ago - 1943

Mr. and Mrs. A. Dunwell of Otley, have received letters this week from Southern Rhodesia concerning their only son Flight-Sergeant-Instructor Henry Howes Dunwell, who was killed in a flying accident in June. “One of the best pilots ever passed out in South Africa,” is the comment of a colleague who was with him throughout their training.

Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Finch, “Rock View”, Leeds Road, Rawdon, have received confirmation that their son, Sergt. Laurence J. Finch, of the Royal Tank Regiment, has been awarded the Military Medal. The official citation states: -”This NCO was a tank commander in the leading troop of his Squadron during an attack in the Gerbani area. Without warning a battery of 88m.m. anti-tank guns opened fire on the troop, knocking out all six and putting four in flames immediately. Cpl. Finch appreciated the situation quickly and brought all possible fire to bear on the feature, although his own tank had been hit. When his tank had been hit for the third time and his driver killed, he ordered the remainder of the crew to abandon tanks and he brought them back to safety through heavy machine-gun fire and picked up a wounded man from another tank on his way bringing him to safety.

50 Years Ago - 1968

Holders of family allowance order books containing orders at the rate of 15s, for second and younger children are asked by the Ministry of Social Security at Otley, to let them have the books for over-stamping in readiness for higher allowances next month.

The policy adopted by Rombalds Water Board for the fluoridation of water supplies was outlined by the Board’s chairman, Coun Frank Thornton, at a meeting at Menston. “At Aireborough the new system we installed permitted us to incorporate fluoridation,” he said. “Provision was made for it within that scheme. The same process is going on at Ilkley. Before long we will have to do something about the Otley filters, and the question of introducing fluoridation might well arise there as well.”

25 Years Ago - 1993

An historic lantern designed by an adopted son of Ilkley has been restored to its former glory. The light was designed by historian, preacher and blacksmith Dr Robert Collyer and hung from an iron archway at the entrance to Ilkley Parish Church in Church Street. It fell into disrepair about a decade ago and needed to be removed in 1991.

Emmerdale Farm star Clive Hornsby - better known as Jack Sugden - will be among those treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of Ilkley’s Royal Mail delivery office. For on October 2 the Cowpasture Road office will throw its doors open to the public.