November is usually the month when we hold our Annual General Meeting, but at an online meeting the History Society committee decided that it was more practicable to postpone this until Wednesday 13th January 2021. We will be holding the meeting online and anyone will be welcome to attend although only paying members will be allowed to vote on any matters that require a vote. More details will be published nearer the time.
As we announced back in April, anyone who paid for 2020 membership of the History Society will have that membership extended to cover 2021 as well. This will also apply anyone who takes out a membership before the end of December 2020. We have discussed several ideas about how we can operate differently in the future, to be more effective in the “new normal”, and would like to get feedback from existing members and people who perhaps just follow us through our website and Facebook pages.
Although we only managed to hold three of our monthly meetings in Keighley Library at the beginning of the year, the History Society has not stood still during the rest of the year. The Committee has been holding monthly online meetings, but the situation always changed too fast to put our ideas in place. But in the meantime the Facebook group has grown by over 600 people (that’s nearly double what we had last year), and the number of images added to our Flickr page has grown from 9,700 to over 12,000 (that’s over 40 new images every week). We have also seen a lot of questions and queries come through the website.
Covid looks likely to be affecting all our lives for many more months to come. So even though it is our aim to get back to having in-person group meetings, we also want to look at other ways of carrying on such as online guest speakers and meetings. If people want to share ideas about what else the History Society can be doing, please send us a message or comment below. Similarly, if anyone wants to help us run things please get in touch.
Happy Guy Fawkes Day! If you’re wondering what the Keighley connection is – the excellent 2017 mini-series ‘Gunpowder’, starring Kit Harington, was filmed in and around Dalton Mills in Keighley. It’s available to watch on Amazon Prime and might be good to re-watch as we enter a winter-time lockdown.
Victory Party held on Sunday 9th September 1945. These are residents of the Changegate area of Haworth, celebrating the end of the Second World War by treating the children to a Victory street party. Photograph taken by local photographer George A. Shore. Visit number 76 of his photos of end of War celebrations in Keighley. Shore simultaneously ran his photography business alongside a carpet and linoleum store in Keighley market. From the History Society digital archive.
Because of coronavirus, Keighley’s Public Library is still closed to visitors, but from Wednesday 8th July they will be operating a new Order & Collect service. See the Bradford Council website for more details.
Keighley Local Studies Library (upstairs in the Library) also remains closed to visitors, but it will be offering an email and telephone enquiry service from Monday 6th July. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01535 618 215.
This day was meant to be a day of Nationwide Celebrations, as it was in 1945 (see post below).
Sadly we cannot do as we had all planned, so we must do it differently because of the current war we are fighting.
Just remember WW2 did not finish with V.E.Day. The fighting continued until V.J.Day, 2nd September 1945. We will have get another chance to celebrate the end f the war.
We are all fed-up of Lock-down and just imagine that if we had been released yesterday how many impromptu parties would have taken place and the advantage our enemy, Covid-19, would have taken of this.
Keighley, as in WW2, has not suffered as badly as some area’s or communities but some families are grieving, our thoughts must be with them and our troops in the NHS and other key workers.
WE CAN HONOUR THE WAR GENERATIONS BY “CARRYING ON”
We can do our own thing and join in any singalongs, watch what went on in 1945 on T.V., put up bunting,or celebrate within our house-hold. But because things are muted we have been given the opportunity to be more thoughtful and can think of those who didn’t make it to V.E.Day.
By 2nd September 2020 we will be further down the road to beating our own enemy and should ALL be able to hold proper celebrations then.
The 8th of May 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, when the Germans signed an unconditional surrender that brought to an end six years of war across Europe. World War II finally came to an end a few months later when the Japanese surrendered in August 1945.
Sunday 13th May 1945 saw many services of thanksgiving at the churches around the town. Some street parties and pageants followed soon after VE Day, although many were held back to after VJ Day.
People had already sensed that victory was on the horizon. As early as March 1945, Keighley and Craven Holiday Fellowship was putting plans in place for a victory dance, and in April Prince-Smith & Stells Ltd. committed to pay a bonus to every employee in the firm when victory was announced. Evacuees who had come to the town were already returning home. The munition works at Steeton Dump closed a week before VE Day as there was no need for the munitions any more.
Keighley had played its part during the war: many Regular Army units were stationed in and around the town at various times; empty mills were used to store tons of food and medical stores on behalf of the whole country; the town handled over 10,000 evacuees; the Keighley and District Spitfire and Hurricane Fund raised £10,000; men served in the Home Guard; women workers at Prince-Smith and Stells Ltd. produced bayonets for use on rifles; over a million pounds was raised during War Weapons Week; the National Switch Factory manufactured parts for radios used by the Resistance in Europe; and so on.
The names of 296 men of the borough who gave their lives during the Second World War are engraved on a brass plaque in Keighley Library.
On the 10th April 2019, the History Society organised a visit for members to Wyedean Weaving in Haworth. We had the chance to look around the old mill and see various weaving machines in action (see the videos at the end of the album).
Next week’s History Society meeting (Wednesday 11th March) is about the forthcoming Transport Festival at the end of May. Festival co-ordinator Graham Mitchell will give an overview of the whole Festival, then History Society committee member Steve Bown will talk about the ‘Ten Tales of Transport’ the History Society is planning to tell in its exhibition in the Civic Centre. We are also inviting people to come along and share their own transport-related stories and bring along any photographs that we could scan and perhaps use in the exhibition. We are particularly interested in photographs relating to the various cycling clubs that operated in and around Keighley in the 50s/60s, and any trips organised by firms or church groups or the like that took people to places like the coast or the countryside. If you have anything you are willing to share, please bring it down.
The meeting will happen in Keighley Library. Doors open at 7pm with the meeting starting at 7.30pm. Tea and coffee will be served. It costs £3 to attend (to help cover our costs) or £1 for History Society members.
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.