125 Years Ago – 1894

Through the generosity and benevolence of a lady visitor to Ilkley, Mrs Maxwell, the whole of the employees of the Midland and North Eastern Railway Companies were entertained to an excellent supper on Friday evening.

With the death of Miss Margaret Parratt which took place on Monday at her residence, Weston Road, another of Ilkley’s oldest inhabitants has passed away. She was one of those who catered for the comfort of visitors who loved Ilkley for its rural charms before the days of innovations, and who were well satisfied with the accommodation such places as “Ivy House”, in Church Street, could give, and they had no reason for grumbling.

100 Years Ago – 1919

With the signing of the Armistice fighting ceased on all fronts, and the greatest war in history came to a close, yet even with peace, goodwill does not reign amongst men; far from it. We have the spectacle of civil war in Germany and Russia, and industrial strife of a most alarming kind in our own country, as well as elsewhere. How it will all end: heaven alone knows. Even locally we have had experience of strikes during the war, for the demand for more wages is everywhere rampant.

75 Years Ago – 1944

Spw. W. Dobson, writing from the Central Mediterranean Forces, says: “Since I left England for service overseas I have been the regular recipient of your paper. Ordinarily I am not sentimentally inclined, but I must admit that its regular appearance out here brings not a little of the freshness of my native moors to these forbidding snow-capped mountains of Italy. The local news gives me quite a tinge of home sickness. I read of the wonderful efforts the people of Ilkley are making in the financial field. It makes me proud of the fact that that I belong to the community that has led the country in War Weapons weeks, etc., more than once. All your efforts and sacrifices , however small and insignificant they may seem, are greatly appreciated by us out here. Without them we could do nothing, with them we can do anything."

Today the Ilkley Council is faced with a world changing on a scale and to an extent which has never before been known in history. “The shape of things to come” in Ilkley lies largely in the Council’s hands. On the foundations they lay now and in the next year or so the Ilkley of tomorrow will grow. Houses for those who have lost their homes in the war, houses for those who come back from the war and want to make homes of their own, houses that old folk can afford to live in and so clear from their minds the spectre of the workhouse – these are the priorities, followed in close succession by schools and hospitals.

50 Years Ago – 1969

There will be only one item on the agenda at what amounts to an emergency meeting of the Ilkley Cricket Club is faced with the probable resignations of its senior officials and an indication from a small but industrious group of voluntary groundsmen that without more help they cannot continue. Though there has been a Cricket Club in Ilkley since 1850, the present one has existed continuously since May 1869. It will be a disgraceful situation if the Cricket Club has to close down.

The closure of the Leeds Road Methodist Church at Ilkley is a recommendation of the Church’s Society Meeting which is to be considered by the Ilkley Methodist Circuit quarterly meeting in March. The recommendation follows a report of the District Redevelopment Commission that the fabric is in such a condition that a large sum of money would be required to put it in order.

25 Years Ago – 1994

Contractors have this week started laying a cable television link across Ilkley Moor. Their work will eventually allow residents in the town to choose from more than 40 channels, some of which feature adult film and shopping programmes.

The amusement arcade that Ilkley never wanted is up and running – and, so far, the only disturbances are those of a graphic form appearing on video screens. Youngsters are not milling around the arcade entrance, glaring lights are not beaming out into the street and the noise levels only revolved around the sound effects of games inside the arcade.