Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Local History Group has presented the town with a handsome oak-framed interpretation board telling of Silsden's history. The board, sited near the nail sculpture in the flower bed by the Wesley Place car park, was unveiled on December 18 by children from Hothfield Junior School's archaeology group.   
Hothfield school head teacher James Procter (left) and two of the pupils are pictured at the unveiling with ward councillor Andrew Mallinson (second from right) and History Group chairman David Mason. The £1,600 cost of the professionally-designed board was met by a £1,000 grant arranged by Councillor Mallinson from Bradford council's Keighley Area Committee and £600 from the History Group. 
The Hothfield School pupils who attended the ceremony are pictured above. At the back, the school's history lead teacher Becky Carter (third from left) is chatting with two of the History Group members.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

The Hair Design Centre (pictured above) is one of Silsden's longest-established salons, having been opened at 44 Kirkgate in 1986 by Annette Russell, who started in business in 1976 as Ginger's at No. 10a Kirkgate, which is now Curry Corner.
The Hair Design Centre was taken over in 1992 by Judith Russell (pictured above), Annette's daughter, who has run the business ever since.
 Nicky Fowler (above foreground) is senior stylist . Working beyond her is Kim Smith.
Long-serving Jackie Cook (above) has worked at the Hair Design Centre for both Judith and Annette.
Melissa Holgate is pictured concentrating on an intricate design for a customer.

Most people will remember the premises next door as two shops until they and the basements were converted into Bonaparte's restaurant and wine bar, in 1999, by local entrepreneur Neil Albone. After three successful years, he sold the business, since when changes made by subsequent owners have been short-lived.
Just at No. 46 and Pennine Television and Electrical at No. 48 were neighbours after Annette Russell had opened the Hair Design Centre at No. 44 in 1986. The hoarding on the prominent gable-end wall of No. 44 advertised Carr's grocery, which had previously occupied the premises. Duckworth's followed Carr's but the hoarding went unchanged. (Photograph by courtesy of Silsden Camera Club.)
This photograph shows the Hair Design Centre with a new-look window and the prime advertising site taken over by the Elegance Beauty Salon opposite in Aire View. Elegance is still in Aire View.
The Hair Design Centre has subsequently regained the gable-end wall to promote its "as individual as you are" business. The nearby street furniture presumably is a temporary distraction.
Carr's grocery was established at No. 44 in the 1950s. This photograph was used in my January 2013 post to draw attention to Driver's Milk Bar on the opposite side of Kirkgate.


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Edward Boothman, of Silsden, one of the country's foremost suppliers of pullets, is the new chairman of the Poultry Club of Great Britain, which, founded in 1877, protects the interests of pure and traditional breeds and is guardian of the British Poultry Standards. He was vice-chairman for six years before becoming acting chairman in May and then permanent chairman in September. His leadership will include overseeing the National Poultry Show's move to modern, larger premises at Telford next year after traditionally being held at Stoneleigh, which it has outgrown. Entries have been rising annually and exceeded 7,500 at last month's farewell Stoneleigh show. Another major assignment for the club will be the updating of the Breed Standards Book for publication in 2017. 

Edward, who is chairman of the Craven Poultry Keepers Club, started with his own Light Sussex flock while at junior school. He has been renowned in the poultry world for many years and rears 60 different breeds as well as 40 different bantam breeds. He is pictured above with a Serama cockerel and young hen. The Serama, a bantam from Malaysia, was introduced here in 2004 and is reputedly the world's smallest breed. 
Edward is pictured above with a cock bird of one of his favourite breeds, the New Hampshire Red. A member of a well-known Silsden farming family, Edward successively gave up dairy and beef herds and latterly sheep, and now concentrates on hens, about which he is passionate and is thus maintaining a great Silsden tradition: from the late 1800s and for much of the last century, the town ruled supreme in national poultry shows.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Indoor bowlers enjoyed their first game of the winter season on the first floor of the new-look Town Hall on Tuesday, December 3.  
John Cobb, who is chairman of Silsden Allotment Association, gets the right bias on his wood.
Library staff were busy on day two of their move to the Town Hall, measuring space for noticeboards, newspaper and leaflet racks and other items, such as first-aid kits. There will be a self-service machine for readers to return, borrow and renew books. Pictured above, left to right, are Mandy Webb, Sally Haigh and Judi Rich.   
Autumnal scene in Hainsworth Lane, familiarly known to locals as Gasworks Lane.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Silsden's library opened in the new-look Town Hall on Monday, December 2, after several decades in Wesley Place. Librarian Frances Bancroft is pictured above on the opening day. The library, in a ground-floor room, is open 10am-4pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and 9.30am-4pm on Saturdays. It is closed on Wednesdays. The Wesley Place premises are due to be sold to help offset the cost of the Town Hall restoration, which is nearing completion. The foundation stone for the Town Hall was laid in December 1883 and the building opened as the Mechanics' Institute in 1884. It included a conversation room and a "small but select" library. It was renamed the Town Hall in 1909. The present library has 2,000 books on-site and local readers can also access all the titles in Bradford metropolitan council's libraries. This facility will be available as soon as the Silsden branch's computers are operational later this month.