125 Years Ago - 1894

The Education Department says that Ben Rhydding ought to have a board school. An inspector who has been down to the spot confirms the Ilkley School Board’s estimate of the number of children in the locality - twenty to thirty. Some of the residents with whom he conversed strongly urged the need of a public elementary school.

Some few years have now elapsed since the noble institution of the Children’s Summer Holiday Home was first initiated in Ilkley. Through the kindliness of heart, through the unselfishness and self-sacrifice of many within our village walls, children from the dingy, grimy towns, from the darksome and perhaps loathsome places wherein throughout the length of day there is nothing but the turmoil of the avaricious world, are brought to see the handiwork of our great Creator, to enjoy the refreshing blow of moorland breeze, to romp along the winding country lanes.

100 Years Ago - 1919

The need of swimming baths in Ilkley was emphasised a few days ago when a number of lads were noticed disporting themselves in the river on the Holmes , near the place where the young cadet was drowned a year or two ago. As they only looked like school boys, and not one of them seemed able to swim, they ran considerable risk of meeting a similar fate.

Beacon fires are not likely to play such an extensive part in the Peace Celebrations as as they have done on some occasions of national rejoicing during the last century or so, though many will be seen in various parts of the country. No fire is to be lighted on the top of Ilkley Moor or Beamsley Beacon , but there is to be one on Otley Chevin. In view of the part such fires have played in the history of the country, their limitation on such an occasion of great national rejoicing as the present, is to be deplored.

75 Years Ago - 1944

Pte. C. L. Carter and L/Bmdr. H. B. Carter, of 4, Booth Street, Burley, have written home saying they have met in Normandy and were able to spend half-an-hour together. The brothers have both seen considerable service abroad. Leslie, aged 25, took part in the campaign in Norway, went to Iceland, and returned to this country two years before the Normandy landings. Harry, aged 23, left this country soon after marrying Miss Gladys Parker, of Ben Rhydding. He served in Persia, Iraq, the Middle East, Sicily, and returned to England in November of last year.

An account of the landing in Normandy is given by L/Cpl. N. F. Burdock, in a letter to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. N. Burdock, of 6, The Crescent, Ben Rhydding. He says: “You really ought to see this place. Talk about boats; there are not hundreds, but thousands of them, stretching as far as I can see in three directions, and by boats I don’t mean rowing boats either. I wouldn’t have missed this ‘do’ for all the rice in China.”

50 Years Ago - 1969

There was a time, it would seem, when you could ride on a donkey from Church Street or Bridge Lane (the mounting steps are still there) to White Wells. And the famous ‘Donkey’ Jackson would profit thereby. Nowadays the journey must be completed on foot. Such is progress.

A new type of push button controlled pedestrian crossing, known as the Pelican, has been introduced by the Ministry of Transport in various parts of the country this week.

25 Years Ago - 1994

A gold-digger in Australia has struck an unexpected seam - a near century old cricket medal all the way from Ilkley. Ilkley Cricket Club secretary Jim Scally was astonished when he learned about the find in a letter from Down Under. Gold prospector Nathan Setzinger, of Forrestfield, Western Australia, said he discovered the medal in Kalgoorlie and that it was inscribed with the words ‘Ilkley C C 1897 G. Smith capt.’.

Teachers are driving into trouble with residents for entering a school via a back street - and ploughing through washing which has been hung out to dry. Householders in Dean Street, Ilkley, are complaining that staff at neighbouring Ashlands First School drive through bed sheets and duvets on a washing line like a bull running through a red cape.