All posts by Admin Tim

Tim is a committee member of the Keighley and District Local History Society, with responsibilities for archiving the physical and digital collections, and managing some of the social media channels. He moved to Keighley about ten years ago and joined the Society to learn more about the area.

From Stables to Beer Garden

The building on North Street in Keighley is undergoing a transformation at the minute as it becomes a beer garden for the Wetherspoon’s pub next door. It was erected as the Town Hall Livery Stables in the early 1890s, before becoming the Regent Picture House in 1920. It then became the Star Bingo & Social Club from 1964 to 1976. The premises reopened during 1980 as the Orbit DIY store then after further closure it returned as Champers Night Club upstairs and Charolais Steak House on the ground floor. The building’s final incarnation was as Last Orders which closed in 2015. In August 2019 the entire building was demolished except for the front wall overlooking North Street. With thanks to Eddie Kelly, David Seeley and Tim Neal.

North Street, Keighley, 14th July 2019. Photograph by David Seeley.
The hollowed-out Livery Stables building photographed from Scott Street. Photographed by Tim Neal on 24th August 2019.
Advert for Joseph Smith’s Town Hall Livery Stables from the 1902 Keighley Yearbook.
Announcement in the Keighley News of the 24th July 1920 of the Grand Opening Programme for the Regent Picture House on North Street. Courtesy of Eddie Kelly.
Advert for the gala opening of the Star Bingo and Social Club’s Regent Bingo on Thursday 10th December 1964. The advert appeared in the Keighley News on 5th December 1964. Courtesy of Eddie Kelly.
Advert for the Orbit Home Decorating Centre opening on 26th September 1980. The advert appeared in the Keighley News on 26th September 1980. Courtesy of Eddie Kelly.
Advert for the Charolais Steak House on North Street, Keighley. The advert appeared in the Keighley News on 18th November 1983. Courtesy of Eddie Kelly.
Advert for the opening of Champers night club on North Street on Wednesday 9th November. The advert appeared in the Keighley News on 4th November 1983. Courtesy of Eddie Kelly.

St John’s Church Visit

The History Society has arranged a visit to St John’s Church in Ingrow next Wednesday (14th August). All are welcome.

There will be a talk about the history of the church, the opportunity to explore the graveyard, and a guided look around some behind-the-scenes parts of the church. There will also be the chance to look through some of the archive albums of photographs of the church and its role in the community.

Entry costs £3 (or £1 if you are a History Society member). There will be tea and coffee served. Please note the main presentation, access to the graveyard and seeing the albums are on the level (there are a couple of steps to get into the church), but steps and stairs are involved in most of the tour so please wear sensible shoes.

Doors open at 7pm. No advance booking is required.

St John’s Church, Ingrow. Photograph taken in 2019 by History Society member Tim Neal.

Bus Museum Open Day

The Bus Museum’s second event of the year will be on Sunday July 14th 2019, at Riverside off Dalton Lane, with refreshments, displays and a regular free bus service linking the Museum at Dalton Lane with Keighley Town Centre. Public entry to the Museum is £3.00 on the day. This is a chance to see their restoration projects including Keighley Number 5 the 1924 Straker Clough the world’s oldest double deck trolleybus, together with a selection of other such vehicles in the Museum. The History Society will have a display for people to look at. For more information visit

The History Society at the Keighley Bus Museum, April 2019. Photograph by Tim Neal.

July Guest Speaker

Next Wednesday’s (10th July) guest speaker talk is Cross Roads Parish Councillor Peter Clarke talking to us about the history and traditions of the University of Bradford from being a small technical college to becoming a prestigious institution with Harold Wilson as chancellor. His talk is entitled “McKinlay’s People – History & Academic Traditions of the University of Bradford”. It follows other recent ‘broader’ talks such as those on Richard III and the Bradford sweet poisonings.

Guest speaker events happen upstairs at Keighley Library. Doors open at 7pm and talks start at 7.30pm, usually lasting around one hour. A lift is available for anyone with access concerns. Tea and coffee is served. Everyone is welcome and admission costs £3 (£1 for History Society members).

Photographs provided by Peter Clarke and (c) University Archives, Special Collections, University of Bradford.

Guest speaker Peter Clarke

Quarter 3 Newsletter

Our latest newsletter is available now. Read about St John’s Church in Ingrow and find out details of upcoming meetings and events. Anyone is welcome to attend our meetings. Come along and find out more about the Society and how you can support us.

KDLHS Newsletter (Jul-Sep 2019)

Thank You Charlie!

Charlie Bhowmick, MBE, delivered an entertaining talk to History Society members on Wednesday evening. He regaled those present with tales of the culture shock of moving to Keighley from Calcutta in the 1950s; of his meeting the Queen to receive his MBE; of running in the London marathon to raise funds for a Keighley disability charity; and of the pride he feels for the town that has been his home for over 60 years. The History Society would like to say an enormous thanks to Charlie for coming along to talk to us.

Details of the next guest speaker meetings have just been added to the event calendar.

Charlie Bhowmick addresses the History Society at the Local Studies Library in Keighley on 12th June 2019.

Upcoming Guestspeaker

A reminder that the guest speaker this upcoming Wednesday (12th June) will be local celebrity Charlie Bhowmick. It’s also your chance to pick up the latest newsletter with details of the monthly meetings for July through to September.

Charlie Bhowmick came to Keighley from Calcutta in 1954 to study mechanical engineering at Keighley College. In 1963 he became the first Asian to work in local government in Keighley Town Hall as a planning officer. In 2005 he was awarded an MBE for his services to race and inter-faith relations in Keighley. Since his retirement he has tirelessly fundraised for charities like Yorkshire Cancer Research. Charlie will be recounting his memories of Keighley over the last 65 years.

Guest speaker events happen upstairs at Keighley Library. Doors open at 7pm and talks start at 7.30pm, usually lasting around one hour. A lift is available for anyone with access concerns. Tea and coffee is served. Everyone is welcome and admission costs £3 (£1 for History Society members). Image courtesy of Keighley News.

Charlie Bhowmick MBE with a copy of his autobiography, ‘From Calcutta to Keighley’. Photograph (c) Keighley News and used with permission.

Liberal Bazaar 1928

A recent addition to the History Society’s archive – a booklet for a Liberal Association Bazaar held in Keighley in 1928. All the pages have been scanned and uploaded to our Flickr account. As well as some political history of the town written by J. J. Brigg and photographs of various dignitaries of the time, there are dozens of adverts for local businesses.

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