Category Archives: History

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.

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

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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Sunny Hill Estate

Sunny Hill Estate in Exley Head was built by J. W. Midgley in the mid-to-late 1920s, with houses for sale from £440 to £550 (or a £40 deposit and then 12 shillings and 9 pence per week). All images are from the History Society’s digital archive on Flickr.

Front page of an advertising brochure for new housing at “Sunny Hill Garden City” (Sunny Hill Grove and Oakworth Road), Exley Head, Keighley. The houses were built by J. W. Midgley in the late 1920s. Part of the Keighley and District Local History Society digital archive.
Advert for the Sunny Hill Estate at Exley Head, built by J. W. Midgley. Pages from a guidebook to a Keighley Division Liberal Association Bazaar, held in the Municipal Hall on the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th October 1928. The original booklet is held in the Keighley and District Local History Society physical archive.
Back page of an advertising brochure for new housing at “Sunny Hill Garden City” (Sunny Hill Grove and Oakworth Road), Exley Head, Keighley. Shows a map of the Sunny Hill Garden City Estate. Part of the Keighley and District Local History Society digital archive.

Quebec Bridge

This postcard of the long-since demolished Quebec Bridge in Keighley was posted on the 25th April 1904. It was one of the Wrench Series of postcards published in the early 1900s. It is a painting of the bridge but it is clear how an original photograph has been used as its basis. The postcard is held in the History Society’s archive while the photograph is courtesy of Bradford Libraries, Archives and Information Service and was part of the K100 Picture Collection.

Quebec Bridge, postcard and photograph from the KDLHS digital archive.

Postcards from 110 years ago

A small selection of postcards of Keighley from over 100 years ago. The cards were printed by Schofield & Co. Publishers of Burnley. They show The Cross (when it was safe to walk down the middle of the road!), the Town Hall Square (pre the War Memorial), Cavendish Street (with tram lines and overhead power cables) and Lund Park (with a lake!).