Mytholmroyd on Parade

100 years of parties and processions

From 1903 until the outbreak of the Second World War, Mytholmroyd Charity Demonstration was the highlight of the social calendar - an annual celebration which raised money for local good causes, thoroughly enjoyed by young and old alike.

A River of Black Mud

Although someone's put a brolly up (bottom right-hand corner), Mytholmroyd Demonstration, pictured in 1914, appears to have been blessed by the sun judging from the shadows being thrown. The advert on the wall is for Hanson's Furnishers, who evidently supplied the whole house!

Photo AT 704 KSL - click photo to enlarge

The break lasted until 1960 when the much-loved event was revived as Mytholmroyd Gala, taking on anew the role of prime village fund-raiser and establishing a new tradition of fun with a serious aim in mind. A year later Cliff Richard, no less, was lined up as star guest in 1963 but in the event he was unable to come and the crowds were greeted, instead, by Don Arrol (his particular claim to fame remains a mystery). The gala continues to go from strength to strength, having celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2000 with a special display of memorabilia and successfully maintaining a tradition which remains close to the hearts of Mytholmroyd folk.

A River of Black Mud

The fancy dress parade remained a popular attraction when the first Gala was held in 1960. Continuing a family tradition, the little girl, second left, is Janet Grace (now Mrs Brooks) - daughter of Mary, who, as a 12-year-old, had taken part in the last Demonstration 21 years earlier. Janet's daughter, Lauren, was the queen in 2001.

Photo BT 894 - click photo to enlarge

Read the full story in Milltown Memories, issue 5. If this or other stories stirs a memory, we'd be happy to know - send us your memories and comments.