KEIGHLEY was given a fairly bad rap yesterday after it was voted the seventh worst place to live in England in an online survey.

The I Live Here website reported the town was named in the top 10 and there was a mixed reactions from our readers.

The story caused a stir on the Telegraph & Argus website, grabbing readers’ attentions with more than 51,000 views for our story yesterday.

READ MORE: Keighley makes top 10 worst towns

But now we want to try to redress the balance and defend Keighley, giving plenty of positives about the town and some of the great things it can offer the world.

Keighley & Worth Valley Railway

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

The five-mile-long heritage railway line in the Worth Valley, which runs from Keighley to Oxenhope, is a tourist magnet any time of the year.

The idea for the line was coined in 1861 by civil engineer John McLandsborough. It cost £36,000 to build, the equivalent to £3,300,000 today.

The idyllic location has also been a backdrop for a variety of films and TV show including The League of Gentlemen (BBC); Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em and most famously, the classic 1970 version of The Railway Children starring Jenny Agutter and Bernard Cribbins.

Victoria Hall

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Victoria Hall, KeighleyVictoria Hall, Keighley

This venue serves as a backdrop for a host of different events. These can include anything from concerts, wedding receptions to prom nights and birthday parties.

The site underwent an extensive refurbishment in 2013 resulting in a major external and internal facelift. It has even held wrestling events in the past.

East Riddlesden Hall

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: East Riddlesden HallEast Riddlesden Hall

This National Trust site can also be seen as a tourist beacon for anyone visiting Keighley.

The site’s manor can be traced back to the seventh century but the manor house goes back to the 17th century. It was by James Murgatroyd, who had made his fortune in the Halifax woollen cloth industry. He bought the manor and 2,000-acre estate from the Rishworth family in 1638 for approximately £6,000.

Back in 2020 and visitors can take a walk around the hall and gardens and take part in outdoor family activities.

Cliffe Castle

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Cliffe CastleCliffe Castle

One of the town’s cultural highlights where visitors can see Victorian rooms and furniture, paintings, and decorative art.

A host of galleries feature natural history, archaeology and social history displays. Castle also hosts changing exhibitions from both its collections and the community.

The site also includes a park when visitors can enjoy its marble fountains, a pond, ornamental Victorian rockwork, glasshouses and terraces and a children's play area.

Mine’s a pint

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Timothy Taylors Brewery in Keighley has been awarded a number of awards over its historyTimothy Taylors Brewery in Keighley has been awarded a number of awards over its history

One of Keighley’s most famous exports is the Timothy Taylor’s brewery.

The Brewery was set up by Timothy Taylor himself in the centre of Keighley in 1858, moving to The Knowle Spring five years later.

Galore have followed for Taylors over the years in recognition of its ales which include Landlord, Hopical Storm and Boltmaker.

Keighley Cougars

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The loyal fans of the town's rugby league team, Keighley Cougars. Picture: Charlie PerryThe loyal fans of the town's rugby league team, Keighley Cougars. Picture: Charlie Perry

Yes, the club has been threw the mill over recent years but it seems like the good times are coming back to the town’s rugby league team.

Now with Mick O’Neill back running the club, the man who was in charge of its celebrated Cougarmania days of the 1990s, the club seems to be heading in the right direction.

Cougars even won the national Rugby Football League (RFL) League One club of the year award for 2019, a season which featured a rainbow coloured kit worn in celebration of the LGBT+ community.

Bargain Hunting

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Airedale Shopping CentreThe Airedale Shopping Centre

Shoppers in Keighley can enjoy a series of sites for shopping. The biggest is arguably the Airedale Centre which features a host of well-known High Street names and independent shops. It also includes a dementia friendly drop-in centre on Brunswick Arcade. There are also further shopping sites at Keighley Retail Park, Royal Arcade and North Arcade.

Famous Faces

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Alistair CampbellAlistair Campbell

Keighley can boast a number of famous faces, both past and present.

Ricky Wilson, lead singer of the Kaiser Chiefs, always seems to love being back in his West Yorkshire roots, whether it be at Leeds United's Elland Road or at Bingley Music Live in 2018., where he spoke to the audience about coming from Keighley.

Terrorvision, the rock band most famous for the hit Tequila, were formed in 1987 (originally as The Spoilt Bratz) in Keighley.

Mollie Sugden, famous for playing Mrs Slocombe in sitcom Are You Being Served, helped put Keighley on the map.

Alastair Campbell, spin doctor during Tony Blair's time as Prime Minister, hails from the town. Keighley can also claim Denis Healey, who served as Chancellor for two Prime Ministers between 1974 and 79, who moved there when he was five.

Lord Eric Pickles, former chairman of the Conservative Party, also hails from the town.

Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbecca in the Star Wars movies, lived in the town between 1987 and 2000.

Keighley Tarn

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Keighley Tarn is a popular site for town residentsKeighley Tarn is a popular site for town residents

A perfect and picturesque spot to get away from it all. This peaceful oasis in Black Hill Lane is popular with walkers and town folk.

Award-winning curries

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Curry

Shimla Spice started in Keighley in 1998 when it opened its flagship South Street restaurant. It has since opened further branches in Shipley and Burnley and has won a clutch of national awards.

What are your favourite things about Keighley? Tell us below