DIANA Crawshaw was born in Ilkley in 1942 and spent an idyllic childhood playing out in the road, the woods and down by the river, as well as riding on the moors and swimming at the bathing pond.

Now she has penned an autobiography called Made in Ilkley in which she details her experiences of growing up in a small town in the 1940s and 1950s.

The book is illustrated with drawings by Diana and photographs, featuring many aspects her life at that time, from the ravages of snooty private school, riding lessons, mudlarking on Dilly Dell’s boats on the river, sledging, skating on the tarn at night, Christmas at Broadbent’s, to rough, dangerous Teddy boy nights at Ilkley Rock n Roll Club, to bikini days at the pool with Cliff, to bell ringers on Christmas Eve and motorbike trial riding on the moor with her Grandpa and hells angels, to name a few.

Diana said: “Really, I’ve been writing this book over many years, just writing down memories, bit by bit, sometimes in the middle of the night, sometimes on my allotment, or on a train.

“I was born and brought up in Ilkley which, in itself is a bit of luck... this beautiful valley, where the air was like champagne and the moors, woods and river and bathing pool were our adventure playground.

“We played out in it, every day and I felt quite sorry for anyone who lived in a big town. Various times in my life stick in my mind and I enjoyed writing about them and seeing and hearing people laugh, when I read them out to them, (whether they liked it or not!)

“Some memories were dug up when I was writing about other ones. Childhood was an adventure, which in my case was made more fascinating by really old people who lived nearby, like Miss Heaps, the 82 year old artist, trained in Paris at 20, who taught me pastel painting at the age of nine, and my Grandpa, William Bradley, whose adventures on the prairie came to life in my bedtime stories and drawings, depicting another era, riding, bareback on the prairie in Canada.

“No fluffy bunny stories for me!

“Did I tell you about the time a man threatened me with a knife in the cabin, in the middle of the night?

“Not the usual preface one would normally expect for a bedtime story!”

l The vivid, amusingly described and illustrated account of growing up in the quiet, respectable Yorkshire town of Ilkley, in the 1940s and 50s is on sale now and is available at The Grove Bookshop in Ilkley.