Nostalgia: From the archives

In this week 30 years ago:

A businessman quizzed councillors over claims Dewsbury had been put under a 9pm police curfew.

Mr Kunz, owner of the Co-op building, posed the question after hearing that the police had objected to plans to use the old Pioneer cinema building to hold pop concerts.

At a town planning meeting, he said: “The message I am getting from our tenants and prospective tenants is that the police run the town and they don’t want anybody to enter or leave after 8.30pm.”

Councillors argued a full police presence would be needed and the Force could not afford to stretch its resources around the Co-op building, at the railway station and in the town centre.

The search was on to find Dewsbury and Mirfield’s liveliest pensioner.

Sir John Mill, himself 76, was leading the hunt to find the perkiest pensioner who could win £17,000 in the 1984 Legal and General Golden Years awards.

In his appeal in the Reporter, Mr Mill said: “All over the country there are thousands of livewire grans and grandads who leave many youngsters standing when it comes to enthusiasm.

“We want to show just what they can do to prove that retirement can be every bit as exciting as any other time in someone’s life.”

In this week 50 years ago:

A man accidently set fire to a bird’s nest while he was fixing his roof.

James Quayle, of Northorpe Lane, Mirfield, was up his ladder burning off old paint under the eaves when the fire started.

It ignited the felt on his roof which spread to the bird’s nest.

Horrified, Mr Quayle jumped off the ladder, grabbed a bucket and filled it with water.

With help from his 10-year-old son Tony, they threw the water on the burning felt.
The fire brigade helped put the fire out and no serious damage was caused.

Going to sleep in a downstairs bedroom may have seemed a strange idea for some, but for residents in Dewsbury it was soon to become a normal routine.

Architect Mr Beckett revealed his plans to build 726 new homes in Knowles Hill Road, Dewsbury Moor, which included a downstairs bedroom. He said the design – the first of its kind in the district – would combat the steep terrain.

A group’s plea for a new community centre in Healey was a step closer to being answered after councillors agreed the facility was needed.

The president of the Healey Old Age Pension Association wrote a letter to the council arguing Batley was in need of a centre.

In this week 75 years ago:

A secretary of the Dewsbury branch of the National Splinters’ Pensions Association had an article published in the Yorkshire Dialect about the town.

Titled ‘T’Dewsbury Secretary’s Impressions of t’Rallies, it read: “When I said where I wor bahn to, it wor all reight to ahr tuner, so on Setterda morning five on us left Dewsbury station on’t Spinsters’ Special for London, we had to stand till we gat to Wakefield, then they put another lot o’coaches on.”

Around 700 residents aged 70 and over were invited to a special dinner hosted by the Mayor of Batley.

The old folks’ tea party took place in the Batley Town Mission Hall.

The function was organised by the town’s missioner Mr Campbell who had help from the town clerk’s assistant Mr Preston.

A 16-year-old colliery worker and two 15-year-old boys were summoned for stealing three bamboo canes in Dewsbury.

Inspector Dibb said the teenagers stole the canes, which were used to help grow tomatoes, from a garden in Wakefield Road.

Mr Burdekin came home to find a gap in his hedge, his plants trampled on and some of his canes were missing.

He said the film Robin Hood, which featured actors using canes for swords, had recently been shown in the district and may have influenced the teens.