This month’s History Society meeting will be held upstairs in the library on Wednesday 10th May. The guest-speaker will be Andrew Heaton of the Dockroyd Graveyard Trust.
Dockroyd Graveyard is the former Wesleyan Methodist Burial ground in Oakworth. The first person to be buried there was one-year-old Thomas Ickeringill, in 1844, and the last was 70-year-old Mabel Falkingham in 1969. In total over 2,500 people are buried within nearly 800 graves in this small Victorian graveyard. Andrew Heaton saved the graveyard from being demolished in the early part of the 21st century and in 2020 the Dockroyd Graveyard Trust was formed to restore, preserve, improve, maintain and conserve the place. In addition Andrew has meticulously researched and catalogued the families who are buried beneath the 770 gravestones. His story of the project and the stories of the families are told in his book ‘Dockroyd Live: Restoration of Oakworth’s Victorian Graveyard’ – copies of which will be available to buy (cash-only please) on the night. More information about the Trust can be found on its website: www.dockroydgraveyardtrust.org.uk
Andrew says: “I will be trying to tell the story of how the chance to restore the graveyard came about, how the obstacles were overcome with help from the local community, what we discovered and what the future is. I’ll also be bringing along a few records and registers and so on.”
The history society meets every second Wednesday in the month. This meeting is on Wednesday 10th May at Keighley Library. Doors open at 7pm. Anyone is welcome to attend. It costs £3.50 to attend, unless you have joined the History Society (entry is free for members). Members can also choose to attend via Zoom if they prefer. You can join the History Society on the evening, membership costs £15 and covers the rest of this year.
June’s History Society meeting will be a bit different. It will be a members-only guided visit to Keighley Bus Museum. More details will be sent out to members nearer the time.