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.


Keighley Victoria Hospital opened to patients on the 23rd April 1904. The Keighley and District Victoria Hospital on Highfield Lane, Keighley, was originally the Keighley Cottage Hospital (1876 to 1894) then Keighley Hospital (1894 to 1904), before becoming the Victoria Hospital in 1904. The hospital closed in July 1970, following the opening of the Airedale Hospital. Images from the History Society digital archive.

1906 postcard of Victoria Hospital, from the personal collection of Tim Neal.
Female ward, Victoria Hospital, Keighley, circa 1910. Postcard from unknown publisher.
Keighley Victoria Hospital nursing staff appeal for funds from the back of a float. Exact date unknown. Photograph donated by Joyce Newton.

EMU Wools Ltd.

Anyone ever knit with Emu wool? Emu Wools Ltd was a knitting yarn manufacturer founded and based in Keighley that was particularly successful in the 1940s to 1960s. The spinning company was founded by the Greenwood family as far back as the 1850s and stayed in the family’s hands until the 1970s. Images from the History Society digital archive on Flickr.

Adverts for Emu Wools Ltd. from the 1960s. Part of the History Society’s digital archive.

Cliffe castle opening

Although it remains closed at present due to the Covid-19 lockdown, Cliffe Castle mansion house originally opened as the town’s museum and gallery on Tuesday 14th April 1959. This followed major renovation work largely funded by a generous donation made by Sir Bracewell Smith. A special programme for the occasion was created for guests.


On this day in history…

A Keighley Corporation motor bus service opened between Utley and Eastburn Bridge on 9th April 1909. Postcard from the History Society digital archive.

One of six images contained within a Keighley letter card printed by Valentine & Sons Ltd. in the 1950s. This postcard is a view of Utley near Keighley.

Covid-19 Impact Update

The History Society committee managed to get together last night via a video conference. In addition to the statement issued by chairperson Joyce Newton last month, we have cancelled June’s meeting (a visit to Pennine Weavers). Obviously future meetings will be reviewed dependent on what government guidelines are saying nearer the time.

Also we have agreed that anyone who has paid the membership fees for 2020, that that membership will also cover 2021.

In the meantime we will continue to post items that we hope are of interest on our online channels: Facebook, Flickr and our website.

Best wishes to everyone – stay safe and healthy.

The Committee: Joyce, Anne-Marie, Paula, Sarah, Steve, Tim, Christine and Gerald.

Rationing it out

Hopefully we won’t need these again in the near future… This is a Ministry of Food Ration Book issued to Sonia Waddington (now Sonia Bown) for 1953/54. The retailers authorised to provide Sonia with her allowance were Sam Bosworth Butchers at 30 Victoria Road, Keighley Industrial Co-Operative Society (store No 12 on Victoria Road), and Hird & Sons butchers on Oakworth Road (next door to Dewhirst’s newsagents). Rationing came to a complete end in July 1954. The item was loaned to the History Society for scanning by Sonia in March 2019.

Ration Book belonging to Sonia Bown (nee Waddington). Scanned by KDLHS in March 2019.

Cliffe Castle Gallery

Right now we can’t visit the house at Cliffe Castle (but the grounds are still open for fresh air and exercise – just stay a safe distance away from each other).

If anyone needs a reminder of how lucky we are to have this museum in our town, take a look at this album the History Society has just uploaded to the Flickr site.

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Chairperson Statement

Following the recent advice from the Government and Health Officials, the History Society committee held an Extraordinary Meeting and voted to suspend all face-to-face History Society events with immediate effect and until at least the start of June.

This covers guest speaker meetings, archive sessions, face-to-face committee meetings and involvement in events. This is so that we play our part in minimising the chance of spreading the Covid-19 virus and in protecting the most vulnerable members of society.

Guidance on practical steps we should all be taking can be found here:

We felt this decision was the most responsible course of action we could take. We know that it will disappoint some people but will reassure others. We will continue to publish photographs and news stories about Keighley’s rich history on our website, Facebook pages and Flickr site, so please stay in touch with us on there. Please pass this message on to people who may not otherwise see it.

We will review the situation at the start of June and will again look to official guidance on best practice at that time.

Right now we are living through a moment that will be written about in the history books of tomorrow. Let us all play our part in making sure it is recorded as a time when we showed extraordinary kindness towards each other and were considerate to the needs of everyone in our society.

Joyce Newton, Chairperson KDLHS 16 March 2020