In the book Keighley, past and present we find an entry for what we think will have been the first green. "The Bowling Green was situated on the west side of and parallel with the Church-Green, now the site of New Bridge-street; and an old house by the Beckside was called Bowl Alley. This species of amusement continued to be much in vogue in the early days of Mr. Knowlton, who is said to have frequently engaged in the diversion, and shared in the hearty laugh of the 'jolly bowlers.'

Horse Racing

1785, horse racing was a serious pastime.
Left, taken from Keighley Past & Present 1858.
We suspect that the field used was Townfied extending down to where Eastwood House was built.

From the same book we read that on the Parish Feast horses were raced on a moor adjoining Oakworth.

Horse races were also run in Haworth, they also had a day called Crowmoor Monday & the races were held on Penistone Flats.
We read in "The Living Age - Volume 59" that the Haworth horse races were run at a place where Cricket is now played. One of Mr Brontes predecessors, Mr Grimstead but a stop to it.

Foot & bicycle races were very popular for all races.

Roller Skating
Roller Skating At one time roller skating was very popular in Keighley
The Mechanics refurbished their roller skating rink about 1886, ten years after opening, boasting a gallery for spectators and using Plimpton's skates. A superior type of roller skate. His roller skates allowed the skater to steer the skates in different directions. The rink was used as a gymnasium in the summer.

Peel Mill, South Street. The rink opened to cater for a later roller skating fad. Commencing in July 1929 but closed by January 1932.

Cavendish Hall Skating Rink also hosted boxing matches, and here we have in 1911 Tom Rowan Champion of Keighley going against J Dunlavey of Bradford for the winning prize of £10


Keighley Baths previously and later used for dancing & wrestling etc. During the winter as the baths hall but 23 October 1950 opened for the winter as a roller skating rink. We do not yet know for how long but will endeavour to find out. Open Monday Tuesday & Thursday evenings matinees on Tuesdays & Saturdays. Last record we have of organised roller skating in Keighley is at the Baths Hall where it commenced in October 1950 alongside dancing & other functions at weekends.

Photo left is of Cavendish Hall

Cavendish Hall
Rink also put on hockey matches. Cavendish Hall American Roller Skating Rink Co (keighley) Ltd, which  probably refers to an entry we found for Skating Rink 134-136 East Parade. 
The Cavendish Skating Rink was a wooden structure erected on the old fairground Station Bridge the area now used by Iceland & Aldi. Opened May 1909, closed by the end of 1912.
In 1911 Worthside Skating Rink, Dalton Lane boasted a maple floor and cafe. It was a converted machine tool works on Beech & Timber Streets (off Dalton Lane). Opened May 1909, closed by the end of 1912.

Keighley Baths
Keighley Baths previously & later used for dancing & wrestling etc. 
During the winter as the baths hall but 23 October 1950 opened for the winter as a roller skating rink.  Open Monday Tuesday & Thursday evenings matinees on Tuesdays & Saturdays.
The baths were used for wrestling on Wednesday nights & available for dancing Friday & Saturday nights.

Redcar Tarn (Reed Scarr)
Keighley Ice Skating Club was formed in 1865 at Keighley Tarn, originally a swampy fiat, was constructed in 1865 by the Keighley Skating Club, and occupying a high, open site, usually froze. Covering about seven acres. There was a house adjoining  built by the club in 1878 at a cost of £300.
Redcar Tarn (Reed Scarr) was also used for boating and had a boathouse, which has now been demolished, a jetty and a place where canoes were moulded. Three concrete canoe moulds were used to make the boats which were built by a Mr. F. Taylor of Keighley in the 1920's. The first canoe mould was discovered by a Keighley Artist, Stanley Boardman in 1972.
The cold winter of 1912 brought crowds of skaters to the Tarn, the Yorkshire Observer reported "If a poll were to be taken among skaters in the busy towns of the West Riding on the subject of the most popular rendezvous at which it is possible to follow the invigorating pastime, Keighley Tarn or, to give it its proper title, Redcar Tarn would head the list by a large majority”.


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