Sunday, 28 July 2013

July 28: Sunshine and crowds greeted the Silsden Gala procession, which, starting in Howden Road paraded by way of Kirkgate, Briggate, Bell Square and Bolton Road to the park, where there were arena attractions and a funfair, plus a downpour. Above: ahead of the procession, Airedale Hospital's running group, the Dodgers, and A&E staff bed-pushed in aid of Manorlands. 
 Jazz music led the floats.
 Silsden gala queen and her retinue.
Two handsome tractors preceded the St James' Church depiction of key aspects of Christian life. 
 The precision of Silsden Majorettes delighted onlookers.
Accrington Pipe Band, founded in 1885, made a stirring contribution to the parade.
Fancy-dress entrants.
 Shoemaker's elves from Footprints, a new children's-footwear shop in Kirkgate. 
 Music from Jamba Samba.
Silsden AFC junior players.

 Silsden Royal British Legion.
There was a broad sweep to the Royal British Legion's theme.
Bees on bikes.
Cobbydale Social Club.
Silsden Brass Band leads the procession at what is believed to be the town's first gala, in 1908. The event was called Silsden Charity Carnival (it became a 'gala' after the Second World War) and was held to raise money for the Helping Hands Fund for relief of poor people. The procession is shown passing the Red Lion.
Onlookers endured rain at the carnival in June 1909. The railings were at the entrance to the Methodist Church.
June 1910: note the lump of Silkstone coal on the cart, which is followed by the town's fire engine and volunteer brigade. 
The early carnivals included a class for the best-decorated shop. Tailor Arthur Dixon's premises are where the Beehive hairdressing salon is now in Kirkgate.
The photograph shows the procession in Briggate in the 1940s at the first gala after the war and the first to be held since 1924. The gala steward on the right is Fred Dixon, who reputedly was Silsden's tallest man.  The steward on the left is Willy Bancroft, who was 15 when he had tried to enlist in the First World War, one of five Bancroft brothers to serve.
Late 1940s/early 1950s: the procession is pictured in Tufton Street. The pipe band is passing Thompson's grocery and sweet shop.
1948 or 1949: the procession nears the canal bridge in Keighley Road. The children in fancy dress are led by Philip Mason (Indian chief), Barry Whittingham (sheik) and Derek Cooper (guardsman).
1950s: An entrant in the popular class for decorated horses. These Kirkgate shops, demolished long ago, overlooked Stakes Beck.

Another 1950s gala procession in Kirkgate, this time passing the drapery store of W. Sugden & Sons, which is now a travel agency. It is next door to Natwest, which in those days was the National Provincial Bank.
Above and below: gala processions in the late 1950s pass the Kirkgate junction with Wesley Place. The corner shop and adjoining properties were demolished to make way for the present-day car park. Further details and pictures of parades at this location can be seen in my April posts. 

This 1950s procession in Tufton Street shows Darkie, one of Silsden's last working horses, which was owned by the local Co-operative Society and retired in 1957 after years spent pulling a coal cart on house-to-house deliveries. Leading Darkie is coalman Bill Hartley, who loved the horse like a brother. (Photograph by courtesy of Richard Throup.) A picture of Mr Hartley attending a pony and cart in a 1970s gala procession is shown in my April posts.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

A large crowd saw a Silsden Dream Team (pictured above) defeat a crew (pictured below) from the Emmerdale TV series to win the Browny Cup at Silsden Sports Club on July 20. The family fun day, strongly supported by local businesses, was estimated to have raised more than £5,000 for the Chris Brown Trust, in memory of Chris Brown, who died aged 24 in 2009 after receiving a head injury playing rugby league for Silsden Park Rangers. The Dream Team, captained by James Whitehead, comprised friends of Chris and Chris's two brothers, Mark and Adam. Silsden won on penalties after drawing 2-2 at full time. The Trust has raised hundreds of pounds to help local people in difficulty as a result of loss or injury.   

Above: The pre-match warm-up introduced players to musical moves and owed more to fun than formations.