Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Red Lion in Kirkgate has reopened as a pub. Pictured above with customers is manager Danielle Broadley, whose parents have bought and refurbished the historic inn. They own a pub in Elland and have have been in the licensed trade in Leeds for the last few years. The Red Lion, which was built as a beer shop in the early 1700s, has played a remarkable role in community life. The Weatherhead family ran the pub throughout the 19th century, making it a centre of musical and educational enterprise. Weatherhead Place is named after them. Several prominent local organisations began life at the Red Lion. 
The Red Lion in the early 1970s when John Spencer was landlord. He is pictured in the doorway.
Meanwhile, the Bridge Inn (above) in Keighley Road, which up to last year was Silsden's oldest surviving hostlery, has been converted into three two-bed apartments, at prices from £99,950. Ale was believed to have been sold on the site since the mid-1600s, originally brewed at a farmhouse on what is now the canal towpath. A small stone stable connected to the farmhouse still stands. The inn was thought to date back to the early 1700s.  Above the original pub doorway at the rear is a 1799 date-stone, depicting a "boot and shoe", which was the name of the inn at the time. 

Friday, 10 May 2013

Above: The Memorial Gardens area, flanked on the left by the Library and to the right by the Wesley Place car park, is in fascinating contrast to how Bolton Road End looked in times past. The Memorial Gardens were built in 1956.
Above: This part of the site features in the centre foreground the old Urban District Council depot, where previously there had been Pollard's sweet factory. In the bottom right corner is the gable end of the former  fire station. The spire of the present-day Catholic church can be seen in the background, with the view looking across to Daisy Hill before Craven Drive was built. The Catholic Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church was previously the Wesleyan Methodist Church. The tall building at the back on the extreme right is the Primitive Methodist Church (recently demolished to make way for the new Methodist building), where the Wesleyans and Bethesdas (from Keighley Road) moved on uniting in 1956.
Above: The area of  Bolton Road End opposite the junction with Briggate was dominated by Highfield Farm, which, built in the late 1600s, for more than 200 years was the Talbot Inn. These buildings were to the left of the sweet factory and the later depot shown in the preceding photograph. Both pictures are by courtesy of Silsden Camera Club.
Above and below: The oldest part of the present-day library buildings goes back to 1852 when the Wesleyan Methodists opened a combined Sunday School and day school. A schoolmaster's house and new classroom were built in 1858. The day school continued until 1914 when Hothfield Street school opened.  
The picture below, taken in the 1950s, shows on the right the two buildings at the intersection of which  the library entrance was built. The church-style window by the red door on the far left of the picture above can be seen in the picture below, on the right of the single-storey Sunday School premises, which, apart from  that section, have been demolished.   

Friday, 3 May 2013

Blooming delay. Above: May 3rd 2010. The cherry trees in front of the Library
are frothing with blossom. Below: May 3rd 2013. Nature-disrupting adverse
weather means the trees are still some way off bursting into their
spring spectacular. The Graham Inman Memorial Bandstand in the
foreground opened in July 2011.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

A new sweet shop opened in Silsden on May 1. Candy Fest, in Elliott Street, is selling old-style boiled sweets, candies and toffees in traditional glass jars (pictured above) as well as modern-day chocolate bars and goodies. The opening stock of 140 lines will be increased to 200. Owners James and Sharon Hoyles, pictured right, will be offering bespoke novelties, such as candy trees, for parties and special occasions. Candy Fest is also online with a Facebook page. James and Sharon are from Lothersdale. Two of their four children attend school in Silsden and James has local customers for his carpet, curtains, upholstery and rug cleaning business, which he will continue to run. The Elliott Street shop was recently vacated by Gold Leaf Designs, which has moved to bigger premises across the nearby main road in the old Co-op premises on canal bridge.