On this day 100 years ago…

This cutting is from The Commercial Motor paper dated 18th July 1922. According to the caption, the photograph shows “A Leyland double-deck petrol bus, with driver over the engine, running in competition with a trolley-bus on the Utley to Eastburn route of the Keighley Corporation, where an experimental service of petrol vehicles is being tried.”

This decade was a transition period for public transport in the town. The electric powered tram service had been in operation since 1904, running between Utley, Stockbridge and Ingrow. But services beyond these terminals required either trolleybuses (powered still by overhead cables but running on tyres rather than tracks) or the experimental (and somewhat unreliable) petrol-driven buses that were introduced in the 1920s.

In 1924 (two years after this photograph was taken), the tracks were taken up for the trams, but trolleybuses continued to run until 1932.

The cutting is from a scrapbook of clippings kept by George Crowther of photographs he took and articles he wrote for various publications. Crowther (d: 1960) spent 50 years with the Bradford and District Newspaper Company until his retirement in 1956. He started out as a press photographer in the 1920s and ended with six years as editor of the Keighley News (1950-1956). He was active in the St. John Ambulance Brigade and served on the Council of the Bronte Society. Scrapbook donor to be identified.

The background image is from a 1905 Valentine and Sons postcard showing the tram service terminus at Utley. Utley Congregational Church is on the left. The last service at the Church was held in November 1964 and the church was subsequently demolished.

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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