The OLHB is a periodic report on local history relating to Otley in West Yorkshire. All entries are based on extensive private research files of the contributors.
Looking back at the shockingly ruinous state of Otley's nineteenth century Mechanic's Institute, one might assume that the twenty-first century community could not care less about its future.
A chippy tea was always cheap, though less so today. This article details Otley's fish and chip shops. Fish would be bought in Leeds then delivered by steam train to Otley Station to be fried in the town's many fish and chip shops.
Part V, the final part of our 'Custom, folklore and magic' series draws the key themes together and asks what future generations would make of the hundreds of padlock keys littering the bed of the Wharfe alongside the bridge. Where a rich customary life offers meaning, celebration and pleasure, benefit is plain to see regardless… Continue reading Customary conclusions →
Part IV of our series on 'Custom, folklore and magic' enters the realm of Satan through the haunted Fairfax family in the Washburn and shows how animals have been used as demonic signs for generations. by Paul Wood, January 2023 Fantastic beasts, representing good and evil, appear throughout history and Otley's early iconography is no… Continue reading Animal magic →
Part III of our 'Custom, folklore and magic' series looks at local sporting customs, though whether Dalby F. Russell's riverine activities should be classed as customary or simply insane is debatable.
Disordered eye? Call on the eye-licker. Disloyal republicans? Sting them with nettles in support of Charles II. How was the unruly mob managed by custom in Otley? This article details the customary ways.
Part I of our 'Custom, folklore and magic' series looks at how the Church was a focus for all three elements, from funeral customs to Martinmas wraiths and witch bottles.
The mysterious, outlandish or downright strange customs of local towns are often deliberately left out of serious discourse. What were Otley's odd rituals and manners now lost to history? This article introduces the subject.
There is no shortage of drunken tales from Otley's pubs, but a less bilious history might be found in the story of the town's Temperance movement. This article details the fight against 'moral dissolution' and the demon drink.
Ashfield Place was built by the 'Otley & Wharfedale Permanent Investment & Benefit Building Society' in 1851. This building club of 12 members included joiner, mechanic and musical instrument maker. This article details the expansion.