Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Open all hours: long live the long-lived corner shops 

Residents in the Howden Road area have had the convenience of a "corner shop" for nearly 90 years. My pictures show the present-day Cobbydale Stores (above) and owner Mr Tony Cavaliere (below) and then the shop in the early 1950s when it was J. G. Lamb's grocery.
Moving to Silsden from Bradford, where they were both born, Mr Cavaliere and his wife, Gill, took over the business from Mick and Liz Craven in 1996. Typical of small but amazingly well-stocked and characterful corner shops, Cobbydale Stores is open from 7am to 9pm five days a week and from 8am to 9pm at weekends. Mr Cavaliere runs the shop while his wife works full-time as a head teacher's personal assistant.

Above: the shop in the early 1950s when it was J. G. Lamb's grocery. John Green Lamb, popularly known as Jack, and his wife Elizabeth owned the grocery from 1947 until around 1965, when ill health forced Mr Lamb to retire. The photograph shows (left to right) customer Margaret Town, Jack Lamb, Alice Heaps (also a customer), Elizabeth Lamb and John Lamb, the youngest of Mr and Mrs Lamb’s three sons, who loaned me the photograph. Jack Lamb served his apprenticeship locally with the Co-op, which for many years operated several shops in Silsden, and took on the Howden Road grocery from Eric Clarkson, who emigrated down under. The three Lamb sons, Harry, David and John, all became successful businessmen. John is also well-known in golfing circles, having been president of Silsden Golf Club from 2005-2013.
Above: the view today from the same perspective as the 1950s photograph. Over the years, only two neighbourhood grocery/off licences, Cobbydale Stores and Aire View Stores, and the main street Kirkgate News, have withstood intense competition from supermarkets, discounters and, now, online shopping with home deliveries. Many Silsdeners can recall the days when there were more than a dozen such small shops dotted around the town. All three survivors have long histories: the Cobbydale Stores property (No 36 Howden Road) was built in 1929 and has always included a grocery shop; Aire View Stores (featured in my post of October 2013) opened in 1900; and Kirkgate News, at No 71 Kirkgate (see my post of November 2013), goes back to 1880.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Afternoon tea treat for senior citizens

Fifty guests aged over 75 were entertained to afternoon tea at Silsden Town Hall on July 1st. It was the fourth in a series of social events organised by the Friends of Silsden Town Hall, in a move to revive the tradition of community hospitality for the most senior citizens and made possible by funding from the Harry Beverley Tillotson Trust. Sandwiches and cakes were made and served by volunteers under the direction of Ray and Pat Colling. Entertainment was provided by soloist Sarah Halstead, with Terry Simpson at the piano, and there was a free competition on the theme of The Golden Age of Cinema. Transport was arranged for the less mobile. There will be a “Scones in Autumn” gathering on Wednesday September 27th  when all residents over 75 will be welcome to drop in for a cream tea. A Christmas tea and entertainment, by invitation only, will be held on Saturday December 9th.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

A grand family day out in the park

Above: family fun was to the fore at the Grand deParty at Silsden park on July 1st, opening a month of events to celebrate the community spirit triggered by the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in 2014. 
Above: Ace Workshop's Lucy Thornton (right) and assistant Lizzie Lee, who run forest schools and outdoor education, showed how to make a camp fire. 
Above: Nathan and Amy Gibson and Leah Saunders (right) received tuition from bowls club members.
Above: Keith Davies, a former deputy head at St Mary's School, Riddlesden, entertained children with a traditional Punch and Judy show. He also judged the dog show.
Above: sisters Edie and Mabel Marriott and Mason Sellars were among Punch and Judy's attentive audience.
 Above: Ellie Woodhead with her pet Jack Russells Pip and Paddy (foreground). Paddy won the 'most handsome' award in the dog show.
Above: Silsden AFC's under-8s for next season were put through their paces by coach Paul Rance.
Above: Lucy Hope became an RSPB member at the society's promotional stand. The Hope family's pet lurcher Tizzy was chosen as the prettiest bitch in the dog show.
Above: Neil Whitaker (centre), who heads the organising committee, was MC for the day's events, which included Silsden Brass Band, Silsden Singers, running races, tennis, bike trials and children's cycling.