Because of coronavirus, Keighley’s Public Library is still closed to visitors, but from Wednesday 8th July they will be operating a new Order & Collect service. See the Bradford Council website for more details.
Keighley Local Studies Library (upstairs in the Library) also remains closed to visitors, but it will be offering an email and telephone enquiry service from Monday 6th July. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01535 618 215.
This day was meant to be a day of Nationwide Celebrations, as it was in 1945 (see post below).
Sadly we cannot do as we had all planned, so we must do it differently because of the current war we are fighting.
Just remember WW2 did not finish with V.E.Day. The fighting continued until V.J.Day, 2nd September 1945. We will have get another chance to celebrate the end f the war.
We are all fed-up of Lock-down and just imagine that if we had been released yesterday how many impromptu parties would have taken place and the advantage our enemy, Covid-19, would have taken of this.
Keighley, as in WW2, has not suffered as badly as some area’s or communities but some families are grieving, our thoughts must be with them and our troops in the NHS and other key workers.
WE CAN HONOUR THE WAR GENERATIONS BY “CARRYING ON”
We can do our own thing and join in any singalongs, watch what went on in 1945 on T.V., put up bunting,or celebrate within our house-hold. But because things are muted we have been given the opportunity to be more thoughtful and can think of those who didn’t make it to V.E.Day.
By 2nd September 2020 we will be further down the road to beating our own enemy and should ALL be able to hold proper celebrations then.
The 8th of May 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, when the Germans signed an unconditional surrender that brought to an end six years of war across Europe. World War II finally came to an end a few months later when the Japanese surrendered in August 1945.
Sunday 13th May 1945 saw many services of thanksgiving at the churches around the town. Some street parties and pageants followed soon after VE Day, although many were held back to after VJ Day.
People had already sensed that victory was on the horizon. As early as March 1945, Keighley and Craven Holiday Fellowship was putting plans in place for a victory dance, and in April Prince-Smith & Stells Ltd. committed to pay a bonus to every employee in the firm when victory was announced. Evacuees who had come to the town were already returning home. The munition works at Steeton Dump closed a week before VE Day as there was no need for the munitions any more.
Keighley had played its part during the war: many Regular Army units were stationed in and around the town at various times; empty mills were used to store tons of food and medical stores on behalf of the whole country; the town handled over 10,000 evacuees; the Keighley and District Spitfire and Hurricane Fund raised £10,000; men served in the Home Guard; women workers at Prince-Smith and Stells Ltd. produced bayonets for use on rifles; over a million pounds was raised during War Weapons Week; the National Switch Factory manufactured parts for radios used by the Resistance in Europe; and so on.
The names of 296 men of the borough who gave their lives during the Second World War are engraved on a brass plaque in Keighley Library.
On the 10th April 2019, the History Society organised a visit for members to Wyedean Weaving in Haworth. We had the chance to look around the old mill and see various weaving machines in action (see the videos at the end of the album).
Next week’s History Society meeting (Wednesday 11th March) is about the forthcoming Transport Festival at the end of May. Festival co-ordinator Graham Mitchell will give an overview of the whole Festival, then History Society committee member Steve Bown will talk about the ‘Ten Tales of Transport’ the History Society is planning to tell in its exhibition in the Civic Centre. We are also inviting people to come along and share their own transport-related stories and bring along any photographs that we could scan and perhaps use in the exhibition. We are particularly interested in photographs relating to the various cycling clubs that operated in and around Keighley in the 50s/60s, and any trips organised by firms or church groups or the like that took people to places like the coast or the countryside. If you have anything you are willing to share, please bring it down.
The meeting will happen in Keighley Library. Doors open at 7pm with the meeting starting at 7.30pm. Tea and coffee will be served. It costs £3 to attend (to help cover our costs) or £1 for History Society members.
The History Society is appealing for photographs relating to daytrips organised by local firms or church groups or the like, from the 1930s to the 1970s. We would like to include as many as we can in the exhibition we are putting on in the Civic Centre as part of the Keighley Transport Festival at the end of May. These can be coach trips, train trips, or even mass-cycle-rides – any sort of transport qualifies.
We’d like to know which business / church / group organised the trip, who went on it, what transport was used, where it was to and (at least roughly) when it happened.
If you can help, please comment below or come along to our next meeting in Keighley Library from 7pm on the 11th of March, where we will have a scanner to take copies of photographs and where we will take notes to go along with the photographs.
Keighley Transport Festival, ‘In Motion’, is happening on the 24th and 25th May 2020.
As part of the Festival, the History Society is putting on an exhibition called ‘Ten Tales of Transport’ in the Civic Centre. One of the tales we would like to tell is that of the various cycling clubs that were active in or around the town in the 1940s/50s/60s – clubs such as Keighley Road Club, St Christopher’s Cycling Club, Keighley Clarion Cycling Club, Aireworth Cycling Club, Keighley Velo Cycling Club, and Bronte Wheelers Cycling Club.
We are looking for people who can help us tell this particular tale with information and photographs about one or more of the clubs. If you can help, please comment below or come along to the special History Society meeting on 11th March (upstairs in Keighley Library from 7pm to 8.30pm where we shall have a scanner to take copies of documents or photographs).
Keep an eye on Facebook or our website as we make requests for help on other tales we wish to tell.
The History Society was at Keighley Bus Museum earlier today to photograph forthcoming guest-speaker Gerald Newton with the Straker Clough trackless trolleybus Keighley No.5, currently being refurbished at the museum.
Gerald will be giving a talk on Wednesday 12th February on the history of the bus and the refurbishment project. The talk will be upstairs in Keighley Library (there is a lift for those who need it). Doors open at 7pm and the talk will start at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome and it costs £3 to attend (£1 to History Society members). You can also join the History Society at any of our meetings. Membership costs £10 for the year.
Our first History Society meeting of 2020 is this Wednesday (8th January). Retired university lecturer and curator of the website NotJustHockney.info, Colin Neville will present his talk on seven locally-based but nationally-acclaimed artists. He will also be selling copies of his tie-in book (£5 each, all proceeds to the upkeep of Silsden Town Hall).
History Society guest speaker talks take place upstairs at Keighley Library. Doors open at 7pm and the meetings start at 7.30pm. There is a lift available for those who need it. Tea and coffee is served. Admission is open to all and it costs £3 (£1 for History Society members).
You can support the work done by the History Society by becoming a member at one of our meetings. Membership costs £10 (£15 for a couple) and goes to supporting the work that we do plus gives reduced admission to our meetings and the opportunity to take part in members-only activities.
The latest History Society newsletter is now available. It covers the monthly meetings for January to March and reveals some of the plans for the History Society in the year ahead. If anyone wants to join the History Society and support what we do plus have access to members-only events please come along to any monthly meeting or see the support-us section of this website.