Nostalgia: From the archives

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In this week 25 years ago:

Traders at Batley Market were worried that a proposal to open another local market for an extra day would kill off trade. Traders in both Batley and Heckmondwike signed a petition asking Kirklees Council to not add another day to the latter town’s market, saying it would split trade and not allow stall-holders to take any more money. Sandra Cleghorn, from Batley and Heckmondwike Market Traders Committee, said: “They are killing market life in the name of profit. “They are putting the squeeze on us in an attempt to recoup the cost of the new indoor market - and we will not stand for it.” Gerard Riley, from the council’s markets department, said letters had been sent out proposing the new day of trade to gauge reaction and that the result would dictate any changes made. He said: “We do not want to kill anything off. We want to use the purpose-built hall to its full extent, provide a good market and look after the traders.”

A survey found that children in Dewsbury, Batley and Spen had some of the worst teeth in the country. District dental health officer Paul Goward told Dewsbury District Health Authority that children under five in the district had four times more tooth decay than children elsewhere in West Yorkshire.

In this week 50 years ago:

Spen councillors warned that proposals for a new road could have meant the end of many businesses in Cleckheaton. Alderman L Archer told a meeting that a £2m road new county road through the town would result in half the shops on one side of Bradford Road and two pubs, on the stretch between Cleckheaton and Oakenshaw, being forced to close. Rather than the proposed idea, he preferred a longer bypass, which would branch off at Bradford Road at Rawfolds and reemerge in region of Hunsworth crossroads after sweeping around the town centre.

Batley Corporation was praised as a “fairy godmother” by estate agents and house-buyers for helping people looking to buy a property. The Batley News reported praise from agents and buyers who said that the corporation was offering 100 per cent mortgages on properties both and old and new.

A Ravensthorpe woman stole clothes from a self-service shop because she did not have enough money to live on. The woman told Dewsbury Borough Court: “I know I shouldn’t have taken them but I can’t manage on £4 a week.”

She was placed on probation for two years and ordered to pay 15d costs.

In this week 75 years ago:

A Heckmondwike man was fined after he punched his neighbour for making too much noise. The chemical labourer pleaded guilty to assault under provocation after he punched his neighbour in the face, splitting his lip and leaving him with a black eye. The defendant said he had been unable to sleep after working all night due to hammering noise coming from the victim’s house. He said the noise would sometimes last for five hours at a time. The victim denied any hammering had taken place and that his wife was simply cleaning the bedroom. The defendant was fined £1 for striking the man when he went to his house to confront him. The curate of Batley Parish Church delivered his final sermon before he moved on to a role as the chaplain of Wakefield Prison. The Revd JD Ward, who was from the south, struggled to understand the accent in the town for some time but became used to it during the two years he spent at the church. He said: “I think I shall retain my first impression of Batley as hardly a place to be ranked with Torquay, Palm Beech or the Isle of Wight for amenities and situation. However, it is not the place that matters so much as the people that are in it and as I look back over the two years I have spent in the town, it is with exception of the church itself, the people and individuals that I think most.”