125 Years Ago - 1893

We are informed by the Otley Postmaster that Otley is at last to enjoy increased postal facilities. Foremost amongst these is is an additional despatch for letters and parcels at 12.40pm, which will ensure delivery the same night in London, the Midlands and all West Riding towns.

At the Otley Police Court on Tuesday morning last Thomas Walsh, a hawker, was sentenced to 14 days imprisonment for the theft of a pair of spectacles.

100 Years Ago - 1918

Whatever may be the underlying motive of Germany’s acceptance of President Wilson’s fourteen peace points, there is no doubt that in a military sense she has been forced into a tight corner, and sees disaster near at hand. Therefore the Allies would be doing a very foolish and unwise thing in agreeing to an armistice at such a stage, and under such circumstances. They would be simply cutting their own throats. Unless Germany is rendered powerless and impotent we have no guarantee that she will not again embark upon a similar career of murder and outrage.

A rumour gained world-wide currency on Wednesday that Germany had capitulated and that the Kaiser had abdicated. News to this effect was published in the Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant, and found its way into the House of Commons very early, where for some hours confirmation was eagerly awaited. A notice was posted during the afternoon at the local “Information Bureau” in Brook Street, stating that great news was awaiting confirmation, with the instructions to all and sundry to “get ready to throw your caps up.”

75 Years Ago - 1943

Official notification has been received by Mr. and Mrs. Walter Driver Denison, Harper Rock, Yeadon, that their eldest son, Ordinary Seaman Driver Denison (19), of the Royal Navy, has been “killed on war service.” He joined the Royal Navy as a volunteer two days after reaching his eighteenth birthday.

L/Cpl. Martin Rafferty, son of Mr and Mrs J. Rafferty, of 34, Albion Street, has sent us a description of Sicily and some of the fighting out there. Writing on the eve of the Sicilian collapse, he says: “At last one can relax, and enjoy the peace of this interesting isle. The rapidity of our advance has been quite a contrast to our previous experiences of warfare, and it was indeed a great surprise on our landing to have the hospitality of the Sicilian, and be cordially greeted as liberators.

50 Years Ago - 1968

News about the swimming bath was brought to a meeting of the Board of Governors at Ilkley Grammar School.Mr. Hughes said the caretaker had been driven back by fumes when he went into the boiler house, and after calling the experts in he had been told only that day that when the bath went out of order some 12 months ago the chlorination plant had not been sealed off. As a result they were now left with a fairly extensive programme and it seemed the bath must now be out of order for an indefinite period.

Addingham Parish Council, it is believed, has held its meeting in the Old School of Main Street ever since it came into being with the Local Government Act of 1894. Now it is to move down the road to the Memorial Hall. There it will be able to discuss its business in the improved circumstances of better lighting, better seating and better acoustic.

25 Years Ago - 1993

Ilkley Grammar School has suffered the wrath of education minister John Patten for breaking the law. Governors are in trouble for failing to provide adequate religious education at a time when the Secretary of State is keen to raise the profile of the subject. Only two weeks age Mr Patten warned schools not to slacken with RE provision.

Up to the minute information on rail and bus services will soon be available at the touch of a button for Ilkley commuters - one of the first towns in West Yorkshire to be allocated such a facility. The days of scouring noticeboards are numbered following the approval of plans to install a £5,000 computerised passenger terminal at the transport interchange in the town.