AS the country celebrates the Queen's platinum jubilee these photographs give a glimpse into what life was like in Ilkley in the early days of her reign.

The images, from Ilkley Local History Hub show celebrations for the coronation as well as day to day life during the 1950s.

Local historian Alex Cockshott describes below what Ilkley was like 70 years ago.

She said: "By the 1950s Britain was emerging from wartime austerity. Rationing was ending. The National Health Service had started.

"Some people had cars, and washing machines, though central heating was still uncommon. Elizabeth II succeeded her father George VI in 1952 and her coronation in 1953 was a major boost to the ownership of televisions.

"Ilkley was dominated by the railway viaduct including the bridge spanning Brook Street and the gasworks to the east. The Town Hall was the centre of civic activity. People entertained themselves with social events, dancing, plays and music including a jazz club at the Troutbeck.

"People loved to go to the King’s Hall and Winter Garden for fairs and other events. The Grove cinema and the Essoldo offered two shows a week. There were frequent political meetings, often with well-known national politicians as guest speakers. Most people bought The Ilkley Gazette to keep informed about what was going on.

For young people there were council and church youth clubs with table tennis, dancing classes, outings, and performances, including the Blue Jeans in the Congregational Church cellar .

"There were school sports around the Wharfe and Aire valleys and several Scout, Guide, Cubs and Brownies groups. For the adults there was a wide variety of sports including archery, tennis, cricket and rugby. Most organised sports were run through well supported private clubs. Ilkley was particularly well known for the riding available.

"There were many cafes such as the Kiosk, Peggy’s, the Imperial and one near White Wells beside the Upper Tarn. There was a coffee bar in Wells Road. Ilkley was a centre for visitors and had many hotels.

"Shops included WH Smiths and a Co-op, Busbys and Woolworths. There were many locally run shops, such as Annings, Beanlands and Mortens and several butchers including Daltons at the south end of Brook Street.

"Christmas had its decorations including the peacock at the top of Brook Street. A great deal was made of bonfire night on November 5th and the smell of smoke and cordite filled the air.

"When the ice was thick enough, there was skating on the Lower Tarn. In summer the outdoor Bathing Pool was very popular – 10/- for the season. Here were slides, the fountain, a café and lots of showing off.

"The old Castle was declared unfit for human habitation. There was public outcry to save it and in 1959 Percy Dalton gave it to Ilkley as the Manor House."

The Queen has ruled for longer than any other monarch in British history. She succeeded to the throne on February 6, 1952 on the death of her father, King George VI. She was crowned on June 2, 1953.