Category Archives: History

Stan Boardman at the Kildwick & Farnhill Village Institute

Fifty years ago, in December 1968, Keighley artist and sign-writer Stanley R. Boardman (1915-1996) painted three murals on the wall of the Kildwick and Farnhill Village Institute. These murals are still there in 2018 (and are looking good for their age!). They have recently been photographed by History Society member Tim Neal. Boardman went on, in the 1970s, to find fame for his series of 1920’s Boy paintings.

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When Hollywood Came to Keighley

Forty years ago, Hollywood came to Keighley! The climactic finale of the film ‘Yanks’ was filmed at Keighley railway station and the goods yard at the end of Cavendish Street (now Sainsbury’s car park) in the summer of 1978. Filming also took place at Steeton where an entire US Army Base was recreated. The film was directed by John Schlesinger and starred Richard Gere alongside over 800 extras including many recruited from the town. The film is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Monday 3rd December.


Yanks director John Schlesinger in a publicity shot taken in the railway goods yard at the end of Cavendish Street. The Victoria Hotel can be seen in the background.

The railway goods yard at the end of Cavendish Street, before it was cleared to make way for Sainsbury’s. Photograph by G. L. Kitchen, taken from the History Society’s digital collection.

The railway goods yard as it is today – the Sainsbury’s car park. Photograph taken by History Society member Tim Neal in 2018.

Remembrance Day and Keighley War Memorial

In the run-up to Remembrance Sunday next weekend, we have published a series of photographs of the War Memorial in Town Hall Square from the last 90 years. 100 years ago the First World War ended, and a new world began. The example and experience of those who lived through it shaped the world we live in today. The History Society would like to add its voice in saying Thank You to all who served, sacrificed and changed our world. There will be a Remembrance Service in Keighley on Sunday 11th November, including a wreath laying ceremony at the Cenotaph at 11 a.m. followed by two minutes silence. (All the images in this gallery are taken from our archives and are published on our Flickr pages here.)

Postcard donated by the Atkinson family, showing the dedication ceremony.

Postcard donated by the Atkinson family, showing the dedication ceremony.
Cutting from the Keighley News, 1928.
Keighley Corporation postcard from around 1970.
Photograph by Chris Kelly, 2000.
Photograph by History Society member Tim Neal, July 2018.

Samuel Gott and his prize-winning model

Corporal Samuel A. Gott was killed in action in 1917 during the First World War, at the age of just 24. He was born in Cross Roads, near Keighley, and was an accomplished craftsman and joiner. His model of a Mansard roof truss won him first prize from the Worshipful Company of Carpenters in 1914. His model is preserved in the Science Museum Group collection. Records relating to Samuel and photographs of his model have been loaded on the History Society’s Flickr page. Our thanks to Andy Wade and the Men of Worth Project for instigating and researching this project.

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Then and Now

Bridgehouse Mill in Haworth. The black and white image (provided courtesy of Airedale Springs Ltd.) is from around 1970, when the building was occupied by Airedale Springs Ltd., Yorkshire Biscuits Ltd. and Wyedean Weavers Ltd. Part of the mill was demolished and rebuilt (with added tower) in 2017/18 as part of a major redevelopment of the area behind. The mill is still occupied by Wyedean in 2018.

Bridge House Mill, Haworth, circa 1970. Image courtesy of Airedale Springs Ltd.
Bridgehouse Mill, Haworth, 2018. Photograph by History Society member Tim Neal.

On This Day…

The first meeting of the Keighley Co-operative Society was held on this day (9th October) in 1860 at the Turkish Bath Rooms. The meeting was chaired by John Farrar Pickles who was a tea dealer on Low Bridge. Illustration from ‘Half a Century of Co-operation in Keighley – 1860-1910’ by Jos. Rhodes (Fellow of the Institute of Journalists and of the British Esperanto Association), published in 1911.

11 Years of ‘New’ Library

Keighley Library officially re-opened on the 17th August 2007, following a £1.1 million refurbishment carried out between February and August that year. Keighley Library is a Grade 2 listed building and was the first public library in England to be funded by Andrew Carnegie. It includes beautiful murals on the walls painted by Alex F. Smith. The Local Studies Library on the first floor is an amazing resource to be cherished by the town.

Postcard of Keighley Library, circa 1904. Donated by Norma Galvin.
Photograph of Keighley Library taken by History Society member Tim Neal in 2018.