A THREE-DAY exhibition in Silsden Town Hall provided locals and visitors with an in-depth insight into the experiences of the town and its people during the First World War.
The event was opened on Friday afternoon by David Locker, nephew of Silsden man Bernard Locker, one of the many British soldiers killed at the Somme whose body was never found.
Hundreds attended the free exhibition, part of a full weekend programme of First World War centenary activities in the town, arranged by Silsden Local History Group, with funding from the Heritage Lottery, Keighley Area Panel and the group itself.
The weekend also featured evening concerts, a Royal British Legion-run cafe, a Reflections recital by Silsden Singers and a From The Menin Gate tribute by Steeton Male Voice Choir. Other organisations involved in the programme included Silsden Community Productions, St James’ Knitters and Silsden Town Band.
History group member Cathy Liddle said: “It was an incredible weekend. We had hundreds of people through the door. People were still wanting to come in when we were closing – we had to turn a few people away.
“The two concert performances were sell-outs and we also had capacity audiences for the recitals. Everyone seemed to appreciate the work that had gone into assembling the exhibition. That was in the making for about nine months.
“Mr Locker spoke movingly about his uncle, who had been a player in Silsden Brass Band.
“We had 20 story boards, each with a different theme, put together through history group research. Thanks to money from Heritage Lottery Fund and Bradford Council, we had them professionally designed, so they looked wonderful.”
She added that the exhibition had been busy for the whole weekend, apart from a brief period on Sunday morning when it was raining heavily.
Special tribute was paid to history group member Ray Colling for organising the event.