100 Years Ago – 1918

Shipley nurse, Miss Hilda Wood, of the V.A.D, was making a splendid recovery after being shot in the right arm as the result of an attack by enemy aircraft whilst nursing in Boulogne. Prior to going to France, Miss Wood had been presented with a handsome travelling clock by the Shipley Women’s Conservative Association in recognition of her valuable services to the organisation. And several cricket players in Keighley had been struck by lightning. Running for cover during a heavy downpour, many had taken refuge in an open barn, and the rest had sought shelter under a big tree. A few seconds later the youths directly under the tree were seen to fall, and then pick themselves up in a dazed condition. Thankfully no one was hurt, but unfortunately one Airedale terrier had been killed on the spot, and another dog appeared to have partially paralysed.

85 Years Ago - 1933

By 30 votes to 29, most of the Bradford City Council had decided that they should ask the Northern Command to present their Tattoo in Bradford in 1935, despite strong opposition from the Labour party. According to Mr. G. Carter, Labour Group chairman, Mr. Ernest Fox, was superficial, and the presentation of a military Tattoo would be a huge mistake. In Birstall, heroic firemen had surrounded a large underground petrol tank in the city centre, pouring hundreds of gallons of water on to a raging inferno. Unfortunately, even with this huge act of heroism, the damage was estimated at about £50,000, five buildings had been destroyed and 80 people would now be unemployed because of the outbreak. And tickets were now available for a special performance of “Oliver Twist” at St George’s Hall, starring the popular Dickie Moore. Members of Bradford’s Nignog club would be admitted for free but must be accompanied by an adult with all funds raised being distributed between various charities.

60 Years Ago – 1958

A single-track railway line which cut through the Thorpe Edge housing estate, had been causing British Railway “no end” of trouble. The adventure spot which swept over Rockwell Lane on a 30 ft. high bridge was not fully fenced and was accessible to any child who had the energy or inclination to climb up. Causing huge headaches for parents, several had taken the step to write to the Telegraph & Argus, in hope of persuading Railway officials to replace the stone walls. Meanwhile, two hundred and fifty ladies of Bradford’s Churchill Tea Club had sent their congratulations and best wishes to Sir Winston and lady Churchill on their golden wedding anniversary.

In 1958, the new £13,500 branch library in Wyke, had opened its doors. The modern-styled building which housed 11,500 books was the first library to be built in Bradford since the war. The completion of the library was the first stage of Bradford Libraries, Art Gallery and Museums Committee’s plan for replacing many of the “part-time” libraries dotted about the city with larger branch libraries.

50 Years Ago - 1968

Barry Watson, the 30-year-old Bingley printer had started his English Channel two-way on September 14. The weather was fair until he entered the water at Dover where he was hit by almost gale force winds and heavy seas which had slowed him down. Barry who lived in Crossflatts, was already the world’s fastest France to England swimmer who regularly maintained his fitness levels by training hard at Bradford Lido, where he once swam a three-mile time-trial in 57 minutes.

35 Years Ago – 1983

A bomb scare, at Bradford College had ended after Army officials exploded the suspect package in the car park. The device, six torch batteries attached to a digital watch, blown up by a robot detector brought by Catterick’s bomb disposal squad, was found to have been a hoax. Angry grocers had swooped on a Bradford supermarket for Operation Upper Crust, an assault on major supermarkets for under-cutting small businesses. Stacking their trolleys high with as any loaves as they could, the three grocers hoped that the campaign would become national. And whether you preferred a stiffly lacquered look or a more sophisticated style, for the women of Bradford the “Bob” was back. The winter fashion was also putting the emphasis on dark sombre hair for that warm and vibrant feel.