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Covering the villages of Wilsden and Harecroft

WILSDEN CHARITY CARNIVAL

A Modified Programme

The ninth annual charity carnival was held at Wilsden on Saturday last in the cricket field near the Parish Church, and the event was favoured again with suitable weather. The scale of the event was, however, much more modest than in previous years, and it was shorn of many of those features which in former years have contributed to make the gala so successful as it has been and one of the special occasions of the year in the district. This time the procession through the village street consisted only of the Daisy Hill Brass Band at the head, with a few troops of Boy Scouts and members of the St. John Ambulance Association from Bradford, the public representatives, competitors in the horse and vehicle classes and tableaux competitions all being missing on this occasion. The Boy Scouts, although about the same as last year, were a much smaller constituent of the procession than usual. The procession was marshalled at the Bingley end of the main street by the Rev. F.C. Rollin, Mr. J Bateman (Bradford), and Police-Constable Dunnett, and from Wilsden went forward to Harecroft, returning to the cricket field.

The programme carried out in the field was varied and attractive. First there was a fancy cricket match between ladies and gentlemen of the village, the ladies being captained by Miss M. Dolphin and the gentlemen by Mr. H. Atkinson. The match was won by the ladies, who scored 40 runs to their opponents’ 10. A team of lady gymnasts from Bradford, holders of the county championship, gave displays both afternoon and evening which were much appreciated by the onlookers, a special item being Indian club swinging by one of the members of the team. The were also two entertainments by a party styled “Dots and Dashes”, under the direction of Mr. J. Myers. In addition there were demonstrations of ambulance work by the members of the association from Bradford, and music was played by the Daisy Hill Band.

Although there were only two competitors on this occasion for the possession of the Lord Lascelles Challenge Shield for Boy Scouts – a great contrast to other years – a good deal of interest was taken in the work of the two troops competing – Windhill and Denholme. Windhill, who had thirteen members present, were under the command of Patrol-leader E. Dable, their former officer, Scoutmaster Anderson, having gone to the front. Denholme, with twenty-two members, were in the charge of scoutmaster L. Foster. The tests were the resuscitation of a person from drowning, signalling, and inspection, and the points gained by the competitors were: … Windhill a total of 92, Denholme a total of 88 points. The shield was therefore captured by the Windhill troop, and the Denholme troop took the second prize. … It may be noted that of the members of Windhill Scouts, 53 have joined the army since the commencement of the war.

The attendance of the public did not come up to the figures of previous years, though it is expected that the results financially will be satisfactory, the subscriptions being in excess of last year. The committee found it possible to provide light refreshments, and a feature of this provision was a thousand “currant” buns which disappeared exceedingly soon.                                                                                                               - Keighley News, 3rd August 1918


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- Keighley News, 27th June 1918

WILSDEN WOMAN’S PERJURY

A Sentence of Six Months’ Imprisonment

At the West Riding Assizes, at Leeds, on Tuesday, before Mr. Justice Shearman, Hannah Mary Donaldson (37), of Wilsden, Bradford, pleaded “Guilty” on three charges of perjury. As the defendant in an action at Sheffield in 1916, she swore that she had a share, value £11,000, of the estate of the late William Bateman, the yearly income from which was between £480 and £520. On March 15, 1917, in Bradford, in her preliminary examination in bankruptcy before the official receiver, she stated that under the will of her grandfather, William Bateman, she had received since the age of 21 the sum of £300 a year, and also she was entitled to £3000 under the will. … Mr Simey, [for the prosecution] said that the prisoner’s past dealings revealed a course of systematic swindling for years. She lived by answering advertisements, matrimonial or for a housekeeper, getting hold of foolish men, telling a story about her grandfather’s estate and inducing them to lend her money. She had been doing that for fifteen years.

Inspector Bates, of Bradford, said the prisoner was born at Wilsden. Her father, the late Joseph Hardy, was at one time a manufacturer, but he failed and eventually became an old-age pensioner. In her younger days the prisoner was a teacher at Bingley. Then she went out housekeeping for men usually in good positions. She had two children, one born before her marriage and one after. In 1909 she married a Mr. Donaldson, and contracted debts which caused his failure. Donaldson found that her statements concerning her well-to-do father were false, and they parted.  Mr. R. A. Shepherd, who appeared for the prisoner … [said] that he had very grave doubts whether she was responsible for her answers [in court]. Mr Shepherd laid emphasis on the fact that the creditors had not been injured by the misrepresentations, which, he suggested, were the result of an obsession that she had a fortune. It was a stupid story that she told. It was easily ascertainable that her grandfather, who was called Bateman, died in a workhouse, and that her father died in a workhouse. Her mother was insane for two or three years before she died.

The Judge said he had no doubt that the prisoner had desired to live luxuriously, and had carried on the life more or less of an adventuress. But she had not been indicted for fraud, and he had no right to punish her for what he suspected her of doing for a considerable time because she had eventually done something else. What she had done was to make wildly irresponsible and ridiculous statements as a judgement debtor. She must have known she was committing perjury. It was said in her favour that she put it right, but it was obvious that she only put it right by some other equally wild and untrue statements.

Sentence of six months imprisonment was passed.

- Keighley News, 20th July 1918

 17th July – Just after midnight, in the cellar of a house outside the Russian town of Yekaterinburg, the deposed Russian Tsar Nicholas II was murdered by a group of Bolshevik revolutionaries. Nicholas’ wife, Tsarina Alexandria, and his five children Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexei, as well as four family retainers were killed alongside him. The killings were so badly botched that most of the victims survived the initial hail of more than seventy bullets (in part thanks to the jewels that they had sewn into the linings of their clothing) and were killed instead by bayonets. The bodies were then hastily buried in an unmarked grave. The royal family remained undiscovered until 1979, and their discovery was not then made public until the fall of communism. Two remaining bodies were discovered in 2007, finally putting an end to decades of rumours and fraudulent claims that one of the daughters of the family had survived in exile.    


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The Royal Family pictured in 1913 or 1914. Picture via Wikimedia Commons