Nostalgia: From the archives

In this week 30 years ago:

Batley remained an employment blackspot despite a recent improvement in figures nationwide. There was no predicted change as one in four Batley men were out of work.

The highest number of those unemployed were in the under-25 age group.
Batley Job Centre’s manager Pat Lister said employers were still cutting back on apprentices and their intake of workers.

Littletown Junior and Infant School suffered two break-ins in two weeks.

A back door had been forced open and the intruders left no room untouched, smashing doors, breaking into cabinets and emptying the contents of drawers on to the floor.

The thieves then took raffle prizes donated by local businesses for the school’s upcoming Centenary Summer Fair.

The week before, the school’s computer, a casette recorder and a brand new disc drive bought with money raised by pupils were snatched in a similar act.

A three-week bus strike ended and workers at the Yorkshire Woollen and West Riding companies went back to work.

At a mass meeting at Dewsbury’s Textile Hall, union shop stewards recommended members accept a £5 per week pay rise - half their demand.

In this week 50 years ago:

About 10,000 people turned out for Batley Show.

The spectacle included trade stands, marquees, dog classes, cricket and the Batley Accident Prevention Subcommittee, who put on a road safety quiz for children.

The Yorkshire Woollen District Transport Company’s band and horse show jumpers were also in action to entertain the crowds.

Heckmondwike residents were left without a vote in the county elections after a council mix-up.

Houses in Wood Avenue – part of the Dale Lane estate – were not registered at council offices for the Heckmondwike Urban Council Elections because they had been renumbered. One of the residents, Graham Book, was 74 and had never missed a vote before in his life.

A 76-year-old woman was rescued from the River Calder by four men – two of whom were from Mirfield and one from Ravensthorpe.

Donald Highe, of Chapel Street, a 29-year-old painter, noticed an old woman standing on a jetty. She threw something in the river and appeared to follow it.

The men hauled her on to a plank rested between the jetty and the barge of James Lansley, of Brighouse, who had turned back to help after passing the men – they had run a quarter of a mile.

In this week 75 years ago:

Rain almost caused a religious service at a quarry in Mirfield to be called off.

But the congregation dodged the weather by flocking to the new Church of the Resurrection, which had only been consecrated a year beforehand by the Archbishop of York.

The building was too small, so many people had to stand.

The quarry was turned into an amphitheatre at end of the 19th century, and was used regularly for services.

Ivor Thomas, Spen Valley’s prospective Labour candidate, spoke at Roberttown and Norristhorpe about the threat of war.

He said that the country was in the midst of a crisis and called for “real courage, determination and foresight.”

He said that were was “no room for the timid, the hesistating, and the doubtful.”

Thomas added that “men of vigorous action were needed,” but stressed it was in times such as they were facing that the British showed the “sterling stuff of which it’s made.”

Thornhill Edge Independent Methodist Sunday School celebrated an anniversary during a service led by JN Peace, of Denby Dale.

Certificates were given to successful scholars of the Sunday School Union Scripture Examination, including Joan and Rowena Fisher.