125 Years Ago – 1894

It is no longer possible to treat the new cure for diphtheria with the contemptuous incredulity which seems the proper attitude of writers who can believe nothing good of inoculation. The scientific evidence from Paris and Berlin is too strong. The number of lives saved by the injection of the serum is already considerable.

At the Otley Police Court yesterday (Friday), Herbert Shuttleworth, cab proprietor, Silsden, was charged with obstructing the highway by leaving his horse and trap for an unreasonable time in Brook Street and Church Street, Ilkley, at 5.40pm on Friday last. The case was proved by P.C. Davies and Shuttleworth was fined 2s. 6d., and 6s. 6d. costs.

100 Years Ago – 1919

During the present week collections have been made at the King’s Hall and Ilkley Picture House, on behalf of the children of the blinded soldiers at St. Dunstan’s, and copies of a “Victory Waltz” specially composed for this purpose have been sold.

Mr. Reginald Rhodes, farmer, Ben Rhydding, has installed a milking machine on his farm, the first of its kind, we believe, introduced into Wharfedale, though not the first by any means to be used in other parts of the country, for milking machines have been on the market for a long time. Still the fact is interesting, as indicating the passing of the human machine in one more department of industry.

75 Years Ago – 1944

Mr. Edgar Goddard, of Whinbrae Cottage, Ben Rhydding, has had a letter from his son Geoffrey Goddard, serving in the H.L.I. in Italy, telling that he has met an Ilkley friend, William Whittaker. They had met first in North Africa, and now have come across each other again in Italy. Before the war Geoffrey Goddard was working at Addingham, and William Whittaker was working in Ilkley for Mr J. Fox, pork butcher.

Two Burley brothers fighting in Italy, who have not met for almost three years, have written a joint air mail letter to their parents at 7, Manse Road, Burley, describing a surprise reunion behind the front lines. They are Gunner Sydney (25) and L.A.C. Leslie (21), sons of Mr. and Mrs. R. Welbourne. Sydney, with the 8th Army writes in the first half of the letter. “Well, mother dear, here’s the news flash of the day for the ‘Wharfedale’ – two bothers meet in Italy! Yes mother, Les and I have met at last, and he is now spending seven days with me, so we are sharing this letter to you.

50 Years Ago – 1969

A vacant allotment and materials to build a new bonfire are being provided by the Ilkley Urban District Council as some compensation for the recent firing of the bonfire built by Ilkley children on land owned by the West Yorkshire Road Car Company. It was after the children had built a large bonfire at the end of Castle Road that complaints were received by the Police that sparks and smoke would be a danger and a nuisance for occupants of nearby properties. Workmen from the West Yorkshire depot burned the heap. Children who had spent weeks collecting and stacking the material were in tears when they found their bonfire had gone. Children of the district have used the site, with the exception of the war years, for nearly 40 years.

For a great many years Bridge House occupied a focal point in Ilkley’s activities. It was for some time the Bridge Inn. Probably its most flourishing period though not as a public house, was when Mr. Septimus Wray introduced the Bridge Pavilion with its many popular entertainments together with something in the form of a menagerie, and arranged athletic events which brought thousands of visitors to Ilkley.

25 Years Ago – 1994

Yorkshire’s oldest resident will celebrate her 110th birthday next week in her native Wharfedale. The Guinness Book of Records has confirmed that Elizabeth Beevers, of Eldermere Nursing Home, in Grove Road, Ilkley, is also the sixth oldest person in Great Britain.

The Countryside Commission has welcomed a report which calls for a reduction in road building and more investment in public transport.