125 Years Ago - 1893

On Monday afternoon last Lydia J. Bradley, who is about 19 years of age, and who resides in North Parade, Otley, had her right hand caught in a machine, which she was attending to at Messrs. Sinclair & Sons, Albert Works. The hand was badly cut and torn, and the young woman was taken to Dr. Williamson’s surgery, where the injured limb was dressed and attended to.

The anniversary of the opening of the Wesleyan Chapel at Ben Rhydding was celebrated on Sunday last.

100 Years Ago - 1918

The following is an extract from the letter of an Ilkley man serving in France with the Royal Field Artillery: -”Now after six days of hard fighting, moving and firing in barrages to help the infantry, with hardly any sleep, we find ourselves in reserve for a few hours. We are at present in position in view of Cambrai, and sleep in a Bosche dug out where Germans slept only a day and a half ago. When we arrived the place was full of German stuff. The dug out is furnished like a flat - pier glasses, chairs, tables, sofas, and even pictures.

Private Bert Boddy, West Yorkshire Regiment, son of Corporal J. Boddy, Notts and Derby Regiment, and Mrs. Boddy, Hawksworth Street, Ilkley, was killed in action on September 24th. He was only 18 years of age.

75 Years Ago - 1943

Squadron Leader N. S. Petch, whose wife lives at 7, Bridge Street, Otley, has been picked up with his crew in the Mediterranean by an Italian vessel and conveyed to an island, after being posted missing as a result of air operations in September. Squadron Leader Petch went to Malta in December 1942, and his squadron “had a full share” in the Sicilian campaign. He was on operations directed against Italy when he was posted missing.

Mrs. H. Watson, 4, Bedford Place, Otley, has received a communication from the Under-Secretary of Stated for Foreign Affairs that her nephew, Mr Jack Miller, who was resident in France at the time of that country’s capitulation, has been reported safe and well. Mr. Miller, a grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. I. Crowe, formerly of Church View, Menston, and at one time himself resident in Church View, went to France some years ago to represent a Bradford wool firm, and whilst in that country met his wife.

50 Years Ago - 1968

During a recent discussion in the Council chamber it was commented that sports facilities had helped to make the town what it was and that this was due to the foresight of the city fathers in the past. If this was intended to mean that it was Ilkley Councillors who were thus responsible then the comment is well wide of the mark. Probably without exception Ilkley sports clubs owe their existence to groups of private citizens sufficiently interest in a particular sport to establish it in the town and sustain it.

A quick call to action by the Ilkley Railway Supporters Association has followed the announcement in this first week of the Paytrain service that it is proposed to withdraw the Ilkley train service and close the station on 5 May. Astonishment has been expressed that British Rail appears to have been planning the closure of the Ilkley services whilst they were also preparing to introduce paytrains.

25 Years Ago - 1993

Ilkley man Stuart Tillotson gave recreation chiefs a lesson in local history when he called on them to shed light on the significance of riverside trees. Blank looks were registered among council officers when asked about the story behind groups of trees in East Holmes Field, Ilkley. Few people realise the trees along the banks of the River Wharfe were planted to commemorate the Coronation of King George VI in 1936. Plaques which once informed people of the significance were removed 10 years ago.

Football star David O’Leary tried to get his Irish accent around the Yorkshire dialect this week as part of a sing-song for charity. The Leeds United and Former Arsenal defender was among a host of personalities who recorded a rousing rendition of Ilkla Moor Baht ‘At to help raise money for disabled people.