125 Years Ago - 1894

On Sunday evening the sudden death took place of Harriet Richardson, wife of James Richardson, quarry-owner, residing in Wellington Road. It appears that the deceased, who was thirty-nine years of age, retired to bed as usual on the evening named at about half-past ten. Soon afterwards she commenced coughing violently, and her husband noticed an unusual gurgling sound in her throat, and becoming somewhat alarmed, procured assistance in the person of a neighbour, named Mrs. Jane Blackburn. The deceased expired in the presence of her husband and Mrs. Blackburn. Deceased had been suffering of late from bronchitis, and Dr. Watson ascribed death to heart affection.

The election of Poor Law Guardians takes place on Monday the 17th of December. The numbers of members to be elected for Ilkley will be the same as on previous years.

100 Years Ago - 1919

The Rev. P. B. Robin, curate of St. Margaret’s Church, Ilkley, has completed five years service in the Mission Field, with the North Queensland Bush Brotherhood, but owing to the shortage of clergy in the Brotherhood, he is not expected to be able to return home before the end of the year.

Electric power has recently been installed in the Ilkley Baptist Church for illuminating purposes, and will be used for the first time on Sunday. This is the first church in Ilkley to use electricity as an illuminant.

Dissatisfaction is being expressed at Otley at the delay in going forward with the housing scheme, under which it is proposed to erect 200 dwellings at a cost of £100,000. The local authority is awaiting the approval of the plans by authorities in London. The site covers 20 acres.

75 Years Ago - 1944

Mr. and Mrs. W. Hume, of St. Bee’s, Carr Bank, Otley, received a pleasant surprise this week when they read in a newspaper that their eldest son, Sgt.-Flt. Engineer Thomas Hume had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and receives a commission in the R.A.F. Pilot Officer Hume joined the R.A.F. two years ago, at the age of 19, and has since completed a full tour of 34 operations, including raids on Berlin, Essen and Stuttgart.

Bombardier Wilfred Irving Coward (25), only son of Mr. and Mrs. William Coward, “Clifton”, Hawkstone Avenue, Guiseley, is reported to have been “recovered” from the Japanese and is on his way home via the United States. It is believed that Bdr. Coward was one of 56 British and 86 Australian prisoners of war recovered from a Japanese transport torpedoed in the Pacific, some of whom, it is feared, lost their lives.

50 Years Ago - 1969

A bonfire which children of the Weston Road area had built behind the Playhouse on spare land owned by the West Yorkshire Road Car Company was burned down by employees of the Company on Monday morning. There has been a bonfire on this land for well over 30 years except for the war period, and some indignation has been aroused over the action. It is said that there had been complaints that in past years smoke had invaded nearby homes and there was anxiety that if there was a strong wind on “plot night” sparks might endanger property.

Following a report that a foreign archaeologist visiting this country considered the Saxon crosses, which are a feature of the Ilkley Parish Churchyard, to be deteriorating and advised their removal indoors, the Parochial Church Council has arranged an examination by an architect of the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works. He reports he had not seen any positive evidence of deterioration in the condition of the crosses and reaffirmed the previous advice that they should remain in site.

25 Years Ago - 1994

A deal has yet to be finalised for for a building once considered ‘his lordship’s manor’- despite the appearance of a solid sign. Burley Hall, off Main Street, Burley-in-Wharfedale, previously belonged to the wealthy cornflake-producing Dalton family. Present owner Bradford Council put the building on the market after closing it down as an old people’s home.