Wednesday, 3 January 2018

The days when coach trips were a big part of community life

Coach trips were a regular feature of community life up to the 1970s or so when car ownership allowed for independent travel and membership of groups started to decline as families made their own entertainment. Social changes and the decline of shared experiences were hastened in the 1980s as textile mills closed and workers had to look farther afield for employment. This photograph shows members of Silsden Camera Club and their wives on an outing. The photograph was taken by the late Will Baldwin, whose wife, Brenda, is pictured third from left. Brenda died last year. Will's photographs form an important record of local life, as does the work of other Camera Club members. They include Dick Roberts, who is pictured centre (holding a brown packet) with his wife (in the white jacket) and, on the right, Brian Sunderland, who is a prominent member of Silsden Local History Group and closely involved in archiving local photographs. 
 This may have been a trip to Southport in 1969. Photograph by Will Baldwin.
Gargrave was the destination of this outing in 1967. Pictured at the front is Emily Rawson, a characterful Silsdener. On the left, accompanying the senior citizens, is Sylvia Kitchen, whose husband, Harold, was a celebrated entertainer who compiled a major collection of historic local photographs. Photo by Will Baldwin.
 No date and no identification of the occasion but a holiday outing nonetheless.
A civic send-off for this trip. Wearing the chain is Councillor Arthur Watson, who was chairman of Silsden Urban District Council from 1952-55. At the front on the left is Steve Wallbank, who was chairman of Silsden Old People's Welfare for 13 years until 1968 and a mainstay of local initiatives for senior citizens.
Members of Silsden Liberals' ladies section. On the left is Bernard Wilkinson, the coach owner-driver. 
An earlier group of Liberal Party ladies pose for the camera before their outing.
Members of Silsden Labour Party's women's section at a stop for teas during an outing.
Elliott Street was the main starting point for outings. Councillor Arthur Watson is on duty again for this exodus. On the right by the junction with Keighley Road/Kirkgate is Joe Whitham's electrical shop (now Arabesque kitchens).

 The Primitive Methodists' choir enjoying an outing, possibly in the 1920s.
Proving that the Outing Tendency goes back at least 100 years, these Parish Church bellringers are pictured before the First World War on a horse-drawn trip with the Vicar, John Berry.