100 years ago

IN a letter to the Craven Herald, soldiers from the Duke of Wellington's wrote from training camp on Salisbury Plain. "All the boys say they wish to go to France. We are going to practise with gas helmets and goggles, but I cannot tell you the reason. We are using live bombs too, so I think we shall be there shortly, if we are lucky."

Richard Drinkall, farmer from Eshton, pleaded not guilty to leaving a two wheeled trap outside the Royal Oak, Skipton, without light. He said it had been his custom to leave the trap there for 13 years and had frequently seen wagonettes there.

Over 60 claims were dealt with by the military tribunal in Skipton in a four-hour evening session. Five were granted total exemption on medical or other sufficient grounds, six were postponed for a month, 18 for two months, 23 for three months, one for four months, and eight disallowed. A widow also won total exemption for her son as she already had four sons in the army.

50 years ago

THE method of transportation of children from Barnoldswick and Earby to schools in Skipton was criticised. A councillor complained that the children were conveyed in double decker buses without a conductor and which were old-fashioned with an open back and thin supporting bar in the middle.

Agnes Taylor, Gargrave librarian, retired after 21 years with the county library service. She had seen a stupendous increase in the number of books issued from 3,000 a year to 25,000. The day after she retired, opening hours at Gargrave Library were increased by 30 per cent.

Jacqueline Waddington, an 18-year-old telephonist employed by Johnson and Johnson at their Earby factory, was chosen as Earby Social and Festival Committee's new May Queen.

25 years ago

TORRENTIAL rain caused severe flooding across Craven - said to be the worst for half a century. The Aire Valley almost disappeared under thousands of gallons of water and, in Bolton Abbey, the floods just stopped short of "drowning" the wooden footbridge.

Malham WI retained its area darts title after beating Clapham in an exciting final. At one stage, the captains' darts were so close, a decision could not be given either way and the double had to be thrown again.

Farnhill engineering firm Cossentine Limited went into receivership, with the loss of 30 jobs. The firm made cable assemblies and wiring harnesses for the commercial vehicle industry, but had been in trouble for some time.

10 years ago

GRASSINGTON fire crew celebrated an historic day the station's status was officially upgraded to retained. Crew members would now receive up to £2,500 a year to provide round the-clock cover for Upper Wharfedale. Previously the team was paid a fee for each emergency call they responded to, or any training undertaken. The station was also given a new fire appliance, complete with specialised cutting equipment, which meant it could help at road traffic accidents.

Villagers in Embsay were hoping it would be third time lucky when they got their new elm tree. Tree surgeons removed the existing Chinese elm after a huge split had developed along the trunk - leaving it precariously poised to come crashing down. It was planted in 1987 to replace the original elm tree, which had stood since 1867, but was lost to Dutch elm disease. Jonathan Strange, of Tree Tops Forestry Company, said: "We will just have to start again."

A family shop which had been a feature of Cross Hills Main Street for more than a century was due to close. Brian and Maureen Riddiough had decided to shut up their hardware store, but retain their main plumbing business A Riddiough & Son Ltd. The family plumbing business was set up in 1894 by Mr Riddiough's grandfather, Arthur. Maureen had been the "face" of the shop since 1970 but wanted to have more time to spend with her family, especially her four grandchildren.