125 Years Ago - 1894

In consequence of the long-continued depression in the silk trade, Mr. W. Watson has deemed it advisable to temporarily close the mill, which has hitherto employed some fifty or sixty hands. Little better is the state of affairs prevailing at Low Mill (Messrs. Lister & Co.), where the greater portion of the workpeople have very irregularly employed for some time, and many have been compelled to seek fresh outlets for their labour.

100 Years Ago - 1919

A preliminary examination of the remains of the Roman Fort at Ilkley (the reputed Olicana of Ptolemy) is at present in progress. An inscription known in Queen Elizabeth’s time to have been found at Ilkley records that the Ilkley fort was rebuilt in A.D. 197.The probability is that an earlier fort dating from the latter half of the 1st century will be discovered.

Sued for Breach of Promise - At the Leeds Assizes on Monday Miss Ethel Hey, of Sykes House, Oxenhope, near Keighley was awarded £600 damages against Major Richard A. Fawcett, wool merchant, Bradford. Miss Hey was a wool weaver, 28 years of age, and during the war became a V.A.D. nurse. Defendant fought in France and lost his right arm, and while in Beckett’s Park Hospital Miss Hey assisted in washing and dressing the wound. He fell in love with her and they became engaged, and as he was in a superior station in life it was arranged that she should go to Edinburgh and take lessons in elocution, and defendant paid fees amounting to £105. His affection cooled and finally he broke the engagement off, became engaged to another lady, whom he married in January of the present year. Defendant resided in Ilkley.

75 Years Ago - 1944

Two Horsforth brothers, Pte. Ed. Myers (31), and L.A.C. Harry Myers (31), have recently met in Egypt. News of the meeting has been received by their wives. L.A.C. Myers left England for Egypt in March, 1942. Nine months later Pte. Myers went overseas to Africa. He took part in the Salerno beachhead landing in Italy, and, when shipped to Cairo for a temporary rest, he decided to try and contact his brother, who was stationed in the vicinity. He succeeded, and brother Harry showed Ed the sights of the city.

Wives and mothers of prisoners of war listened intently on Tuesday when L/Bdr. Robert Sanctuary, of The Crossways, Otley, home after eleven years service abroad, including over two years as a P.O.W. in Italy addressed a meeting of the Otley and Wharfedale P.O.W. club. He told members how he was captured near Tobruk in April 1941, and shipped to Italy, along with 500 other prisoners on May 18. When they landed on the quay at Naples Italian women booed and jeered as they were transferred on their way to a waiting train on their way to a concentration camp at Sulmona. In September 1943, just before the Italians capitulated the prisoners with him decided to make a mass escape. A wave of emotion and gratitude swept the room as L/Bdr. Sanctuary told how he and other British soldiers were sheltered and cared for by Italian peasant women who, at the risk of their own lives, fed them, washed their clothes and warned them when the Germans were making “round up” raids.

50 Years Ago - 1969

A former Menston man who emigrated to Rhodesia 12 years ago “to escape the mud and slush of British weather” arrived back in Britain with his family last week for a three week holiday. Mr. John Stokes received an enthusiastic welcome from family and friends. Mr. Stokes’ wife Jean, has also been visiting relatives. Mr. and Mrs. Stokes and their son David are so far enjoying their stay in Britain, although they are unanimous on one thing - “the weather is still terrible.”

25 Years Ago - 1994

Life is full of ups and downs for Ben Rhydding man Alan Harris. For the 57-year-old businessman has been instrumental in the creation of the world’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster which towers above other rides at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Now he is eagerly awaiting the grand opening of the ultimate white knuckle ride which will plunge willing daredevils down a 65 degree, 235ft drop at 85mph. The ride - called the Pepsi Max Big One - will take 30 people at a time through twists, turns and dips as they hurtle along one mile of track in less than two minutes.