Category Archives: History

ON THIS DAY…

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.

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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.

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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Yester-Day-Trips

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.

Members of the Young Wives Club of Lund Park Methodist Chapel about to embark on a Mystery Coach Tour in the 1960s. Photograph loaned to Keighley and District Local History Society by Glenis Hey of Oakworth in February 2020.
Employees of J. W. Hartley & Sons celebrating the centenary of the company with a coach trip in 1974. From the History Society digital archive.

Cycling Stories

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.

Derek Bown, competing in York on behalf of Keighley Road Club in 1959. Photograph courtesy of Derek Bown.
Keighley Road Club, 1959. Photograph courtesy of Derek Bown.
Cover of brochure for the Keighley Festival of Cycling Weekend in October 1969. Courtesy of Derek Bown.