Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Charming, indeed: it's panto time at the Town Hall
Above: sisters Gemma (left) as Cinderella and Jodie Simpson as the fairy godmother take leading roles in the Silsden Community Productions pantomime Cinderella, which is at the Town Hall from December 1st to 3rd. 
Above: in not-so-glad rags, Cinderella meets Prince Charming, played by Wendy Kelk. The panto is directed by David Hardman, assisted by Neil Whitaker. The musical director is Angela Clement and Terry Simpson is the accompanist. Choreography is by Elizabeth Phillips. Stage manager: David Harper; lighting and sound: David Rishworth; props: Alan Raine; prompt: Margaret Simpson.  
Above: there are some ugly scenes, so to speak, with sisters Sharon (Laurence Driver) and Tracy (Neil Whitaker), who make Cinderella's life a misery.
Above: Baron and Baroness Hardup, played by Fergus Hickey and Ros Driver, seldom see eye to eye.
Above: Honest Dick (David Driver, right) and Little Dick (Mark Kelk), are purveyors of products various and dubious.
 Above: Barbara Williamson is the queen who is a thorn in her charming son's side.
Above: Faye Kelk as Buttons. Her sister is cast as Prince Charming and her dad as Little Dick.
Above: bailiffs Snatch and Grab are played by Charlotte Hemingway (right) and Mollie Driver.
Above: tired of champagne, Prince Charming calls for tea for three, served by Dandini (Katie Dale, right).

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Christmas Market another sparkling success

Above: Santa's helpers were on duty at the Town Hall on Sunday, November 27, when the annual Christmas Market, organised by Silsden gala committee, was another huge success.The Majorettes provided Santa's grotto and helpers.The afternoon concluded with carols at the bandstand played by Silsden Town Band and the switching on of the Christmas lights by Silsden's champion stockcar racers Frankie and Phoebe Wainman.
Above: there was a wide variety of stalls on the ground and first floors. 
Above: Seth Morton, four, approves his new look created by Melissa Hall, of Face Invaders, a face-painting facility from Addingham. 
Above: children's clothes, aprons, cushions, headbands and jewellery were among the hand-made items displayed by Catherine Merritt, of Addingham-based Tamarstreasuresuk.
Above: Maria Harwood, of Silsden moor, and her daughter offered a range of wickless and flameless alternative scents.
Above: bottles galore featured in a tombola run by Simon and Sarah Pullen in aid of the Yorkshire Cancer Centre, which is the current fund-raising target of the Wharfedale Province of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes. 
Above: Ruth Hall, of Street House Farm Preserves, Addingham, is pictured with jams, chutneys, drinks and cakes made with fruit grown on the farm.
 Above: young customers at the stall of Christmas cake specialist Ros Driver and daughter Mollie.
Above: Louise Walker, a business development coach, of Tufton Street, Silsden, offered a range of aloe vera products.
 Above: bags of sweets were tastefully displayed.
Above: Briggate shopkeepers once again supported the market. Sarah Gillson served mulled wine, mince pies and other goodies generously provided by Computer Universe.

Above: owner Zoe Sugden (second from left) and her cheerful crew at the Country Kitchen. 
 Above: service with a smile at Crumbs cafe and cakes.
Above: Hector Calvert, two, pictured with mum Alexandra, enjoyed a roundabout ride.

Monday, 21 November 2016

'You reap what you sow' - the creed of Silsden farmer

 Maurice Jackson (1930-2016)

The death occurred on November 9th of Maurice Jackson, of Airedale House, one of the district's best-known agricultural figures, whose family have been farming in Silsden since the 17th Century. He was 86. Maurice and his wife, Ruth, are pictured above at Airedale House in 2013 when I interviewed and photographed them for a series on Silsden’s farming families. As well as dairy and sheep farming, Maurice was renowned in the poultry-show world, continuing a reputation built up by three previous generations of Jacksons from High Green Farm in Silsden. His father, Sam, was credited with introducing to the area the Marans breed, of which Maurice had been a post-war mainstay. It was only in 2012 that he and Ruth gave up running their own flock.
Above: Low Woodside Farm. Maurice was born at a cottage at High Swartha Farm, the only son of Sam and Edith Jackson (née Bell), who moved to Low Woodside in 1938. Sam supplied milk to Driver's dairy in St John Street for ice-cream manufacture and for sale at the firm's Milk Bar in Kirkgate. In 1956 Maurice took on neighbouring Airedale House Farm, where he and Ruth moved after their marriage in 1959. In 1962, Maurice acquired nearby Woodside. His father died aged 61 in 1968, leaving Maurice with Low Woodside to run alongside Airedale House and Woodside. Low Woodside expanded substantially but ill-health in 1991 curtailed Maurice’s farming activities and finally heart surgery in 2001 brought his full-time involvement but not his interest to a close.
Above: a view from the canal towards Airedale House and Woodside. Cowling Bridge across the canal leads to Low Woodside, which is to the right out of the picture, and gives access to the family's fields between the canal and the river.
Above: continued expansion at Low Woodside. After more than 300 years, the Jackson farming line continues to flourish. Maurice and Ruth’s son, also called Maurice, took over at Low Woodside, where he and his wife, Heather, have invested heavily in the latest dairying systems and techniques and where their son, Jonathan, is an integral part of the business. The milk round Maurice senior bought from John B Wade in 1982 continues to operate from Low Woodside Farm.
Above: flooded fields in November 2015. Airedale House has commanding views down the valley towards Keighley. Maurice and Ruth's daughter, Judith, and her husband, David Isherwood, farm at nearby Lane Bridge with their son, Joshua, principally supplying beef and lamb to the family’s butcher’s shop in Kirkgate, Silsden. They have invested significantly at Airedale House Farm in new livestock buildings and in developing a pedigree Airedale Angus herd.
Above: Airedale House in the snow in January 2010. Maurice senior told me in 2013: “If I was a young man now, I would be taking the same route as my son and daughter and their families. The biggest problem for farmers is marketing and being told what we are going to get for our produce. The supermarkets have become too powerful and it is a continual challenge to thrive but as in all things you reap what you sow.”

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Harassed housewives of the 1950s

While Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was proclaiming in 1957 that "most of our people have never had it so good", a group of Silsden housewives, with typically wry humour, formed the Harassed Housewives Club. This photograph was taken by the late Will Baldwin. It was among photographs on display at Silsden Local History Group's Remembrance coffee morning at the Town Hall on Saturday, November 12th. Under the heading "Who Do They Think They Are?", the photos showed local groups of yesteryear and the historians invited members of the public to put names to the faces.  
No idea if these housewives were harassed or not, although one or two were club members. Some were neighbours in Howden Road and maybe the occasion was a victory party after the war. Will Baldwin took the photo.  
Another Will Baldwin photo, this time from the 1970s or 80s. The late Richard Whiteley, renowned host of Channel 4's 'Countdown' game show and news presenter for ITV's 'Calendar', serves residents at a Silsden Good Neighbours event. As Richard might have said: it was a pour do (possibly at the Staincliffe Court flats).