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Target - Stepping Back In Time At The Old Town Hall

Dorothy Miller with the Town Hall clock.

Pupils (back row, L-R) Dorothy Miller, Margaret Attack, Jean Dawson, Molly Tillie; (front) Dorothy Jackson, Connie Speachley, Meryl Price; teaching is Ivy Gledhill.

The interior of the Town Hall, showing the organ which was rebuilt in 1949.



Stepping Back In Time At The Old Town Hall

TIME will turn back to the year 1814 in Cottingley Town Hall this Saturday.

And if you would like to sit in the school desk where your grandma sat or look for your name on the old Sunday School register,it will be just the day for delving into the past.

The Victorian Day has been organised by the Christian Women's Guild in a id to raise money to keep the historic building going.

Anyone who goes in through the big wooden doors at the Main Street building willget the feeling he or she is stepping into a time machine.

Pictures ofthe Victorian founders stare gravely from their old frames on the walls, old chairs are hollowed out to allow for criolines and the same old benches with holes for inkpots stand just as they did when Mr Samuel Robinso ruled his pupils with kindness and canes in the 1930s.

The Guild ladies will be in Victorian dress and serving at stalls and the "time travellers" will also be able to enjoy and old fashioned tea of apple pie, parkin, currant pasty and teacakes made from delicious old recipies.

Guild member Dorothy Miller, 71, of Manor Field, Cottingley, whose father had the old fish and chip shop in Cottingley and she thought it was marvellous that history had been 'frozen' in the old Institute which was once the school.

"I can still sit at the desk where i sat as a child. It was a happy school. We were made to behave though and they used the cane."

Now the congregation at the Town Hall used by the village Christian Church have reduced to about 16 although Cottingley itself has grown. And the building which looks like a picture page from a history book is badly in need of a cash injection to save it. Target readers have come forward with items to go on display at the big day on Saturday. And Mrs Ivy Gledhill from the Guild says she hopes the day will help them to get some new members and people who used to join in will return.

The first school for the children of Cottingley was started in a smithy in 1814. By 1836 it was so popular it ran out of space and by 1843 the village had raised enough money for an extension to be built.

Activities grew because Cottingley was a united village and in 1863 the present Town Hall was built with stones being carted to the site by members of the school committee where it was worked on by masons.

Later the day-school was taken over by the Government and moved to School Street and through the years dozens of orgaisations have been based in the Town Hall buildings.

The clock, which cost 46, was given by Isaac Skirrow Smith, and church member Peter Earp still winds it up so it continues to strike the hour.