Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Signs of the times: the seasonal sparkle of modern streets and teas for the elderly in the 'good old days'Above: a great deal of voluntary hard work goes into erecting the Christmas decorations, which light up Kirkgate, Briggate and Bolton Road End each year.
Voluntary community work of a different kind was a seasonal feature in the decades following the Second World War when Silsden's senior citizens were treated to a Christmas tea. 
The annual treat was one of a number of events organised by a group of volunteers as community life got going again after the hardships and disruptions of wartime.  
The Christmas teas were held in the Methodist School Room and continued into the early 1970s. Coats and hats were almost a uniform for the ladies in the days when winters were famously cold. Coal fires and, if you were lucky, Esso Blue or pink- paraffin heaters provided warmth at home but not in all rooms. 
Above: Mrs Dyson (left) and Mrs Lambert were among the many helpers. Teas were also taken to the homes of elderly people too frail to attend.
Above: members of the organising committee included Les Dyson (on the left), Jim Brown (without a jacket) and Brian Brockbank (right).