Friday, 30 June 2017

History Group invites you to meet the ancestors

Silsden Local History Group is to run guided tours of the St James' Church graveyard. The "Meet our Silsden Ancestors" sessions will enable the public to hear stories behind some of the gravestones and memorials.The tours, seven in all, on July 15th, 16th and 17th, will be conducted by History Group chairman David Mason, who is pictured above on the right with committee members Geoff Foster, Val Carroll and Margaret Bishop Green.  
The tours, among July's Grand deParty events, are due to include the graves of mill owners and workers, a farmer's son who drowned trying to rescue sheep in a storm, a clog-iron maker, a pioneering educationalist and the patriotically named innkeeper Albion Hargreaves. Attendance (limited to eight people per tour) is by ticket only, obtainable from Twiggs newsagents from July 8th. The charge of £1, payable on the tour, will go to the Grand deParty. Aspects and photographs of Silsden's past will also be featured at the History Group's coffee morning on July 15th at the Town Hall.

Monday, 26 June 2017

After 110 years, Post Office moves to a new home in Kirkgate

Above: a smart new frontage and access ramp mark the move of Silsden Post Office from the opposite side of Kirkgate at No.64 to Twiggs Newsagents at No. 39. The layout of the newsagents has been cleverly adapted to accommodate the post office.
Above: newsagent Martin Twigg is the new postmaster. He is pictured with his wife, Adele, who is helping run the business. Having been approached by the post office, Martin agreed to refurbish the newsagents to retain the service for the town following the end of the Cathey era as postmasters at No. 64. There has been a newsagents at 39 Kirkgate for more than 100 years. Martin acquired the shop from Martin Lampkin in 1994. The history of the newsagents and photos over the years were featured in my blog of November 2013.
Above: Rosemary Wallbank serves a customer at the post office counter at Twiggs. Rosemary was one of the team at the post office at No 64 Kirkgate where Andrew Cathey had been in charge since 1990 until his recent retirement. The Cathey family had run the post office since 1955. It had been the hub of the community at No 64 since 1907, as reported in my blog of November 2012. The service, one of the oldest in Yorkshire, opened at Twigg's on June 9th 2017. The shop continues to stock all lines as normal, including stationery, gifts and toys.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Volunteers step in to save library

'Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life. Libraries change lives for the better'
American writer Sidney Sheldon, quoted by MP John Grogan at the opening of Silsden Community Library  
Above: Silsden Community Library was officially opened on Saturday, June 24. Town Mayor Peter Robinson and Keighley constituency MP John Grogan are pictured with members of the steering group who came forward to keep the library open after it fell victim to government cuts in public spending. Seated at front are secretary Caroline Whitaker (right) and Katie Whittingham. Between them is academic librarian Jennie Winterburn, the only member of the steering group with library expertise. Standing left to right are treasurer Sue Moore, Mike Batty, Bridget Rout, chairman Peter Cannon, Julie Holland, Mayor Peter Robinson, MP John Grogan and Val Goddard, volunteers co-ordinator. 
Above: the tape to mark the occasion was cut by the youngest member on the books, 13-month-old Ryan Perry, and the most senior user Irene Atkinson. Ryan was helped by his mum, Cheryl Gaukroger. The library, based at the Town Hall, closed at the beginning of April when Bradford district council ceased paying for staffing. It reopened on June 5th as a community asset, still using books and services provided by the council as before.  At the packed opening, the MP described the Town Hall as a precious building, which had started as the Mechanics Institute in 1884. He praised the library steering group and thanked all the volunteers for making the takeover possible.   
Above: steering group chairman Peter Cannon (centre) is pictured with some of the more than 60 volunteers who have come together to take over the running of the library from the council, whose income has been slashed under the government's austerity measures. 
Above: Mandy Webb (centre) is the manager of Bradford council's programme of transferring 16 libraries to full or joint community control. She is assisted by Dionn Hood (left) and Sue Rollins.
Jessica and Felix Clarkson (above) and Ania and Noah Bacon (below) took part in a craft-for-kiddies corner run by volunteer Jo Loud at Saturday's library launch.   

Above: an estimated 100 people visited Saturday morning's library event.