100 years ago…

This newspaper cutting is taken from the Keighley News of Saturday 29th April 1922. It talks of the arrangements for the opening ceremony of Keighley Hall, built in the French town of Poix-du-Nord, in gratitude for the support given by the people of Keighley following the First World War.

“At Poix-du-Nord – the little French town in the war-devastated region, for which Keighley has undertaken to stand as a sort of godmother – great preparations ae going forward for the opening of the Keighley Hall, the public building which is being paid for out of the adoption fund specially subscribed by Keighley people. The opening takes place on Sunday, June 5, and a number of representative Keighley citizens, including the mayor and some of the members of the Town Council, have accepted invitations to be present and participate in the proceedings.”

The building was designed by Keighley architects W. H. & A. Sugden. In the end, the inauguration was attended by Councillor James Longton (Mayor of Keighley 1921-22), Alderman Albert Smith, Councillor W. A. Brigg, Councillor G. A. Calverley and Samuel Clough, amongst others.

Keighley established links with Poix-du-Nord after the First World War. In 1920, under the scheme of the British League of Help for Devastated Areas in France, Keighley ‘adopted’ Poix-du-Nord and raised over £4,000 by public subscription for a civic hall, which opened in 1922 and was named Keighley Hall. There is also a street in the town named after Alderman Ferdinand N. Binns (Rue Ferdinand Binns), a former Mayor of Keighley (1918-20), who was awarded the Order and Cross of the Legion of Honour for his efforts to promote good relations between the two towns.

Regular visits between the two towns were exchanged by the branches of the International Brotherhood Alliance (founded in 1905) up until 1938. The town was visited again by the Mayor and Mayoress of Keighley (Mr and Mrs J. E. Brownbridge) between Friday 30th May and Sunday 1st June 1969.

The clipping is from a scrapbook of cuttings covering the mayoral year 1921-22 which is held in the History Society’s archive. The illustration of Keighley Hall is from the cover of the programme for the opening which was loaned to the History Society by David Seeley in July 2019.

Keighley Hall in Poix-du-Nord, France, built after the First World War from funds raised by the people of Keighley.

Author: 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.

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