Church and Churchyard Tour

This Thursday (7th September) there is a CHURCH AND CHURCHYARD TOUR of Ingrow St. John’s Church. The tour will be led by Tim Neal of the Keighley and District Local History Society, and is one of the events put on to celebrate the 180th anniversary of the opening of the church.

It will be a short tour of some of the key graves within the churchyard and key items within the church. The history booklet produced this year will be on sale for £3. Doors open at 6.30pm and the tour starts at 7pm.

The church and churchyard of Ingrow St. John’s. Photographs by Tim Neal and David Butterfield.

Last Chance to See!

The exhibition of “1920s Boy” paintings by Stanley R. Boardman closes this coming Sunday (10th September). The exhibition is on in the octagonal gallery of Cliffe Castle Museum, open Tuesday to Sunday this week.

Stan painted his memories of growing up in Keighley in the 1920s, creating artwork that is both humorous and pathos-filled at the same time. All the paintings were loaned to the museum by the History Society.

Stan Boardman exhibition at Cliffe Castle Museum, July 2023. Photographs by Tim Neal.

Coming up in September…

There is plenty happening in Keighley in September that might be of interest to people…

Saturday 2nd September 10am-4pm – Keighley Show (Marley Fields). The History Society has a stall where you can see some of the stories we tell and find out more about the History Society. You can join as well.

Thursday 7th September 7pm – Tour of Ingrow St. John’s churchyard and church. The booklet on the history of the church, which is celebrating is 180th anniversary this year, will be available to buy (£3).

Saturday 9th September 10am – Heritage Open Day: Colin Neville giving a talk on notable local artists (Keighley Library).

Saturday 9th September 2pm – Heritage Open Day: Tim Neal giving a talk on local artist Stanley R. Boardman (Keighley Library). There is also a display of Stan’s 1920s Boy paintings at Cliffe Castle showing until Sunday 10th September.

Saturday 9th/Sunday 10th September – Heritage Open Days: Ingrow St. John’s Church will be open with a display celebrating weddings past, present and future.

Sunday 10th September 10am-4pm – Heritage Open Day: East Riddlesden Hall is free to visit on this day.

Wednesday 13th September 7pm – History Society Talk (Zoom). Eddie Kelly will be presenting his talk on “Lost & Forgotten Inns & Public Houses of Keighley”. The meeting will be on Zoom and open to History Society members. Details on how to join the meeting will be sent to members a couple of days before the meeting.

Saturday 16th September 2pm – “How Keighley Celebrated the Coronation in 1953” (Cliffe Castle). The History Society’s Tim Neal will be giving his talk in the museum. Book a place by contacting the Cliffe Castle Support Group.

Saturday 16th/Sunday 17th September 11am-4pm – Heritage Open Days: Free entry to the museums at Ingrow Station on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.

Sunday 17th September – Heritage Open Day: Guided tour of the Carriage Works and a rare opportunity to visit the workshop at Rail Story (Ingrow West Station on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway). Tours on the hour from 11am to 3pm.

Wednesday 20th September 2pm – Tim Neal: Stanley R. Boardman – His Works and His Life (Lees Methodist Church, Cross Roads with Lees). Tim Neal will be giving his talk on the artist.

Bronte Talk

August’s History Society meeting (Wednesday 9th August, 7pm) is a return from author and journalist Sharon Wright, talking about Maria Bronte, wife of the Reverend Patrick Bronte and mother to Charlotte, Anne, Emily and Branwell.

PLEASE NOTE THIS MEETING WILL NOW BE HELD ON ZOOM. Details will be sent out to members a few days before the event is due to take place.

Stan Boardman Exhibitions

The History Society is delighted to announce that we currently have TWO exhibitions dedicated to the works and life of Keighley artist Stanley R. Boardman. At Cliffe Castle Museum we have 24 paintings from Stan’s 1920’s Boy series of paintings on display upstairs in the balcony gallery, while at Keighley Library there are a number of display cabinets on the ground floor and in the upstairs Local Studies Library where you can see other examples of Stan’s artistry.

The History Society would like to thank Bradford District Museums and Galleries and Bradford Libraries for facilitating these exhibitions, and sends particular thanks to Heather, Gina, Janet and Angela.

Both exhibitions are free to visit from now until early-to-mid September. Please go along and support the exhibitions and these venues.

Stan Boardman exhibition at Keighley Library, July 2023. Photographs by Gina Birdsall.
Stan Boardman exhibition at Cliffe Castle Museum, July 2023. Photographs by Tim Neal.

The Gondoliers, 1921

One year ago, the History Society was given a collection of theatre programmes for productions by Keighley Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society dating from the 1900s to the 1950s. Gradually we have been scanning these programmes and adding them to our Flickr site.

The latest programme to be uploaded is for 1921’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Gondoliers”. Click below to see the full programme.

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This Month’s Meeting

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:

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.

Dockroyd Graveyard in Oakworth