Genealogy Blog

Welcome to the YFH Genealogy eclectic mix of news, views, information, random thoughts, advice, tips, wishes and periodic rants together with anything else we feel might be important for researching in Yorkshire!

  • PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW Bradford Council to either CLOSE or SELL Ilkley's Manor House Museum

    Posted: 03/03/15


    1st March 2015

    Ilkley Civic Society has written to Councillor David Green, the leader of Bradford Council objecting in the strongest terms about the proposal not only to close but to sell Ilkley’s Manor House a reader of this blog, we need your help to put a stop to this scandalous action by writing directly to Councillor Green.

    Late last year the Manor House became an Asset of Community Value. It is a Grade 1 listed building built on the site of the Roman fort, in the main conservation area of historic Ilkley. The museum is due to close to the public on April 12th 2015.

    This building was left by a benefactor, Mr Percy Dalton, to the people of Ilkley over 50 years ago specifically for use as a museum and art gallery. When it was subsequently transferred from Ilkley UDC on its demise to Bradford Council, as a result of the local government changes in 1974, it was never envisaged that this would lead ultimately to the loss of the building and thus of the museum and art gallery facility to Ilkley. The society considers that the museum is not morally Bradford Council’s to sell it belongs to Ilkley already.

    The decision to sell was announced in advance of last week’s Council budget meeting and confusingly, at a point when the future of the museum and art gallery is still under discussion with Bradford Council officers. There was a proposal to transfer the museum to community management. Volunteers were appointed and trained. However, a report by consultants commissioned by the council on the future of the Manor House is still to be made public. The consultants’ findings will influence the value of the Manor House, yet the Ilkley Community now has to express an interest in buying the Manor House by 8th April 2015.

    It has been made clear to Bradford officers that the singling-out of Ilkley’s Museum for closure is regarded as vindictive and prejudiced. It trespasses on the goodwill of all those people who have supported the museum for the last five decades. Last year Bradford Council made a large donation to the National Media Museum because it is important to Bradford. It should be recognised that the Manor House is equally important to Ilkley. Many local people view the decision to close the Manor House as a political one that has nothing to do with the council’s need to make economies.

    There is no doubt that a town of the historical status of Ilkley needs a museum. Ilkley has fascinating pre-history of rock carvings, a Roman presence in the fort and vicus, a fascinating 19th Century spa town history, and complex 20th century developments.

    It is disturbing that the removal of artifacts from the Manor House to storage in Bradford has already started. Many of these items were donated specifically to the Manor House by the people of Ilkley and support the history of the town and its people through the ages. The artifacts have no relevance or context to other museums and people are upset at their disappearance.

    The Civic Society has therefore requested that District Councillors reconsider their closure and sales plan and that Bradford Council halts their sales process until all the facts are on the table.

    Contact Helen Kidman 01943 609154

    Chair, Ilkley Civic Society.

  • The Roman Roads of North Yorkshire

    Posted: 02/03/15

    Saturday 7th March 2015 at 2.00 pm How Many Roads Lead to Aldborough? Mike Turpin will give the seventh in a series of talks on The Roman Roads of North Yorkshire at Thornton-le-Street Village Hall between Thirsk and Northallerton. Admission will be 2 at the door, but prior booking is advised. This programme is designed to both report on recent archaeological activity and to encourage future research within a professional framework.

    Bookings can be made with John Sheehan: 01609 771878 or by email from whom further information can be obtained.

  • 'The Costume of Yorkshire' and its context

    Posted: 28/11/14

    Wednesday, 3 December 2014, 2pm

    Notice of a talk in Huddersfield about 'The Costume of Yorkshire', featuring another chance to see some of the material from the holdings of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society.

    This year is the 200th anniversary of a publication which offers us some of the best-known and most recognisable images of Yorkshire life.

    Dr John Hargreaves will discuss George Walker's famous work and describe the social and political context in which it was created at a talk in Huddersfield on Wednesday 3 December.

    This event is a being hosted by the University of Huddersfield and will be held at its new Heritage Quay archive centre. The talk will take place at 2pm and will be followed by an opportunity to view the artist’s original water colours which are in the care of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society.

  • Stained Glass Exhibition

    Posted: 27/11/14

    Saturdays, 29 November & 6, 13 and 20 December 2014, 10.00-13.00 at:

    Stained Glass Centre, St Martin-cum-Gregory parish church, corner of St Martin Lane & Micklegate, York

    This exhibition showcases work by the York artists Harry Stammers (1902-1969), Harry Harvey (1922-2011), Sep Waugh, Ann Sotheran and Helen Whittaker, and is a rare chance to see a recently-conserved piece by eighteenth-century artist William Peckitt.

    The exhibition has been curated and mounted by a volunteer team of History of Art students from the University of York. Also on display are the results of new historical research on the fabric of the church and the parishioners commemorated in it, undertaken by a graduate student archaeologist and interns funded by the Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past (IPUP). The exhibition complements the outstanding stained glass in the church itself, underlining the unbroken continuity of glass-painting practice in the city of York.

    Details at:

  • New Huddersfield archive centre

    Posted: 31/10/14

    A 2 million archives facility has been unveiled in West Yorkshire.

    Heritage Quay, which is situated on the University of Huddersfield’s Queensgate campus opened 24 October 2014. The archival facility provides access to more than 200,000 items from the institution’s Archives & Special Collections and boasts an array of high-tech digital features.

    Material is also on display outside the search-room, with users able to engage with material on display tables and via a 7 metre-wide ‘gesture wall’ that is controlled entirely by hand movements.

    Open to both students and members of the public, visitors can explore a wide range of unique records, including documents revealing the early history of Rugby League and a number of local businesses and organisations.

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