Old News Becomes New News

The History Society’s discovery of several thousand black-and-white negatives that were taken by the Keighley News has made headlines in this week’s Keighley News! Copies of the paper can be bought in all good newsagents.

The photographs were taken in the early 1980s and cover, amongst other things, sporting events, golden wedding anniversaries, political events, shows and galas, theatrical productions and charity events. A real slice-of-life for early 80s Keighley.

The pictures are being made available to view on the History Society’s Flickr page. It takes a while to scan and label the images, so we are releasing new albums every few weeks. The first few albums can be seen here.

An article about the History Society’s discovery of some 1980s press negatives, from the Keighley News of 19th August 2021.

History Tour of the Town

The History Society held its first face-to-face event since March last year this afternoon, when several members gathered for a guided history tour around the town centre. The tour was led by Tim with welcome input from Joyce and Graham. Thanks to Steve for taking the photographs. We hope everyone who came along enjoyed it, and if there is interest we will look at rerunning it in the future.

History Society tour of the town centre on Church Street, August 2021.
History Society tour of the town centre on Bridge Street, August 2021.
History Society tour of the town centre in Town Hall Square, August 2021. Photograph: Steve Bown.

Keighley News Archive

The History Society has acquired 1,000s of black and white negatives of photographs taken by the Keighley News in the early 1980s. They cover all sorts of topics such as local sporting fixtures, weddings, shows and galas, theatre productions, politics and charity events. The History Society will spend the next few months scanning the negatives and releasing them on Flickr on a month-by-month basis.

The negatives came in small envelopes with some basic labelling and a date, but the History Society is hoping people will get in touch and tell us more about the stories behind the pictures.

The first proper album is available to browse now and has photographs from forty years ago – taken in August 1981.

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August’s Zoom Meeting

This month’s guest speaker talk on Zoom is a Virtual Walk around Keighley Town Centre, illustrated by photographs, maps and vintage images of the town. It is happening on Wednesday 11th August.

The event is for History Society members only but you can join the History Society by going to our website. Members should already have received their email with details on how to join the meeting on Zoom.

‘Doors’ open at 7pm, with the usual History Society update at 7.15pm and the talk itself starts at 7.30pm.

Back to the Eighties

The History Society has recently procured a lot of ex-Keighley News negatives (and we mean a LOT!) from the early 1980s. This photograph of Ingrow St John’s Junior Cricket Team was taken forty years ago on 2nd August 1981. It will take us quite a while to scan and label all the negatives but keep an eye on our Flickr page for more.

Ingrow St John’s Junior Cricket Team, from 2nd August 1981. Image from the History Society’s Keighley News Archive.

Zoom talks for rest of year

The History Society Zoom meetings have been announced for the rest of this year. They are:

11th August – A Virtual Walk Round Keighley. We will be recreating a guided-tour around the town centre through maps, photographs and archive images.

8th September – Sideshows, Fairs and Exhibitions in Victorian Times, a presentation given by regular guest-speaker Tish Lawson.

13th October – North Street and beyond as seen through the lens of Wilfred Moore, a presentation by local historian Eddie Kelly. Some of you will know that Wilfred Moore was the father of Captain Sir Tom Moore as well as being a keen photographer around Keighley.

10th November – Annual General Meeting.8th December – Christmas Meeting, including an archive talk from the late Ian Dewhirst on the theme of Keighley Christmases past.

The meetings are free to paid-up History Society members and take place on Zoom on Wednesday evenings from 7pm. If you would like to join the History Society please comment below or visit our website.

We have already started lining up guest-speakers for 2022 and we are hoping to resume our meetings in the Library as well as continuing to use Zoom. If you are interested in giving a talk to the History Society please get in touch.

Stan the Musical

The musical ‘Stan’, was first performed at Keighley Playhouse, Devonshire Street, on Monday, 19th July 1976. The musical had been inspired by an exhibition called “1920’s Boy” at Cliffe Castle in 1973. It received coverage on ITV’s ‘Calendar’ local news programme, and the BBC’s lunchtime programme ‘Pebble Mill at One’. After the July run it was revived at the Playhouse in October 1976.

The songs from the musical ‘Stan’ were recorded and an LP was produced by Calrec Audio Ltd. of Hebden Bridge. Copies were available for £3. The recording was engineered by John Trenouth and was mixed by John Butterfield and Tim Whitley. The photograph shows the front and back of the LP sleeve.

The exhibition that inspired the musical was a showcase for the paintings of Keighley artist Stanley R. Boardman. In the late 1960s/early 1970s Boardman began painting depictions of his memories of growing up in Keighley in the 1920s. Encouraged by local historian Ian Dewhirst, the paintings were put on display to much acclaim at Cliffe Castle in 1973.

The musical was written and produced by Michael Ford, with songs by Ford and Allan Greenwood. The show was an HYT (originally Holycroft Youth Theatre) production. HYT started out as Holycroft School’s theatre group, but soon broke away and recruited young people from across Keighley. ‘Stan’ was their first production and the theatre group ran into the 2000s. The group became renowned for staging original productions devised by the young cast in workshops. Musical accompaniment for this show was by Tim Whitley, John Trenouth and friends, Stanley Bishop provided cinema piano music, Pete Hey and Stan Boardman himself devised the props, and Ian Dewhirst acted as historical advisor.

The item belongs to Neville Whittingham. It was brought along to a talk on Stanley R. Boardman given by History Society member Tim Neal at Silsden Local History Group on 26th February 2018. The item was photographed by Tim Neal and permission was given to include the photograph on the History Society’s Flickr account.

The LP release of ‘Stan – The Musical’ by HYT Theatre Group. The musical was inspired by Stanley R. Boardman’s 1920s Boy paintings. Photographed by Tim Neal.

Guest-speaker in July

This month’s guest speaker talk on Zoom will be given by Steve Bown. His talk is entitled “Keighley MPs: Millmen, Offcumdens and Swing” and is happening on Wednesday 14th July. This meeting is exclusively for members who have paid to join the History Society. If you would like to know how to become a member please drop us a line in the comments. Members will receive their invites on how to join the meeting via email a few days before the talk.

The ‘doors’ will open at 7pm but the talk won’t start until around 7.30pm. This is to give people the chance to log in to the meeting and for updates on Society news.

Future talks for the rest of the year include Tish Lawson on “Sideshows, Fairs and Exhibitions in Victorian Times”​, Eddie Kelly on “North Street and beyond as seen through the lens of Wilfred Moore”, and an Ian Dewhirst presentation from the archives.

Keighley MPs John Binns, Sir Swire Smith, Ann Cryer and Sir Robert Clough are just four of the MPs to feature in the talk by guest speaker Steve Bown on 14th July 2021.

New Look Newsletter

Alongside the invite to this week’s Zoom meeting, members should also have received a PDF copy of our relaunched newsletter. Now running to 12 pages, with news, articles, interviews and dates for your diary. If you are a paid-up member, look out for it in your inbox.

If you want to become a paid-up member of the History Society, and to receive the newsletter every three months and get access to our online meetings, click here for details.

Guest-speaker in June

Our next guest speaker meeting on Zoom is scheduled for Wednesday 9th June. This month’s speaker is respected family historian and researcher Sylvia Valentine, giving a talk entitled ‘Vaccination Records for Family History’. Sylvia will cover the records which were created as a result of the compulsory smallpox vaccination legislation from 1840 and will discuss the anti-vaccinators who were able to “take over” the board of guardians in Keighley.

This meeting is exclusively for members who have paid to join the History Society. Members will receive an email invite in the next few days – remember to look out for it. If you would like to become a member please click here.

The ‘doors’ will open at 7pm but the talk won’t start until around 7.30pm. This is to give people the chance to log in to the meeting and for updates on Society news.

Sylvia Valentine’s talk on Vaccination Records for Family History is on the 9th June. The main picture is a photograph from Dean Smith & Grace, held in the History Society’s archive.