OTLEY AND DISTRICT MEN’S FORUM

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Transport in Wharfedale
Roger Bareham

10th Jan 2013

Although the talk was entitled  Transport in Wharfedale” what we got was a description of Roger Bareham’s life and his fascination with and enthusiasm for railways and Sammy Ledgard’s buses.

  Leeds and Otley were the focus of his talk and Wharfedale appeared to end in the west around Bolton Abbey. We did not hear what kind of transport supported travel in Wharfedale to the North West of Ilkley but his descriptions of the railway serving Otley was detailed and interesting.

 Before the 1914 – 1918 War there was a narrow gauge railway in the Old Pool Bank area that descended the steep incline from quarries near the Toll Bar down to Pool and there are still some remains to be seen.

 Transport of goods and people by rail to and from Otley was on a line that stretched from Arthington through Pool and Burley to Ilkley. At both ends of the line it was possible to get trains that eventually reached destinations well beyond the boundaries of Yorkshire .

 Opened in 1865 this line served Otley until 1965 when it was closed on Beeching’s recommendation.  From then public transport was solely by bus. The main provider of this type of transport was the Samuel Ledgard company that had a garage where Kwik Fit is now located.

 Renowned for good time keeping and amiable, vocal conductors the sevices it ran from both Aireborough and Otley provided transport to Leeds and its outskirts.

 Our next meeting is on Thursday 24th January in Otley Methodist Church Hall when Pat Osbourne will tell us the life story of the zany comedian Norman Wisdom. If you enjoy a good laugh please join us.      

 

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