Temperance Gala 1850 copyright Keighley Library

We don't know exactly when the first Keighley Gala was but we do know there was one in 1875. Saturday afternoon 18th September 1875 a Fate & Gala was held in the grounds of Eastwood House, the home of William Clough. It was held for the benefit of the Mechanics Institute. The weather was fine & attendance large, of between seven & eight thousand people. Two bands were in attendance & a variety of attractions, an hot air balloon ascended around 5 o'clock followed by dancing in the evening, with a display of fireworks later on. 

The first one held by the  Keighley Friendly Societies held there sixteenth annual gala to raise funds for the cottage hospital was in 1876
June 1892 they held foot & bicycle races with prize money. Organisations, societies & other public bodies gathered in the Rectory grounds, this was somewhere near where Luton Street is now (see houses page for more information). Accompanied by four brass bands they marched down to Victoria Park. Speeches were given on the lawn & it was suggested that there was a possibility of the Mansion, Eastwood House, becoming a convalescent home. Rain had threatened all day but had kept off. 

June 1900 people gathered at Lund park. (The habitants of the rectory moved in 1899 to Woodville Road, Lund park opened in 1891) At Lund Park there were entertainments on a stage including five brass bands, Black Dyke, Silsden, Skipton, Haworth & Cowling.The procession made it's way to Victoria Park.


One of a series of images (bottom Left) of the Keighley Gala Procession held on a wet Saturday 15th June 1907, captured by local shopkeeper, photographer & post card publisher Anthony Rodwell. 
This High Street view is of a Comic Band passing the Exchange Vaults pub which would close six months later. 
The pub earlier known as the Beaumont Arms had occupied the site since 1823/24 when it replaced the original & ancient Sun Inn which was either demolished or collapsed a short time before. 
 former Exchange Vaults was later occupied as a pawn shop by Ingham Chadwick whose successors would extend & continue the business as outfitters until 1967 when the extended premises were occupied by Ramsbottoms. 
A dilapidated beerhouse also called the Sun Inn existed at this time at the other end of High Street on the opposite side of the road. The buildings to the left of centre were removed in 1938 for the widening of High Street as an approach to the new Oakworth Road. 
(Text Eddie Kelly).



The procession arriving at Victoria Park 1927 Keighley Carnival Song
1927 Keighley Carnival Song 1927 Keighley Carnival Song 1927 Keighley Carnival Song
Hospital gala 1908 1930's Green's Caterpillar at Keighley
22 June 1953


In 1842 John Greenwood Sugden, son of William Sugden of Eastwood House offered a prize   for the best bred pig to men in his employment, this was to try to keep the men out of the pubs and beer houses. The following year the first Annual Keighley show was held.


1843 the first Keighley Agricultural Show, Hall Proctor, a Solicitor held lands at Strong Close & Lawkholme. 

1844 held in the "show field". Just in front of Cliffe (Hall) Castle Main gates, and to this day the area is known as Showfield. The land was built on late 1800's & beginning of the 1900's

1844 a list of prizes & the donators. 

1844 results






























1856, the barn at Utley Greenhead which held items used at the show suffered in a fire.

1857, the ploughing competition took place at Riddlesden Hall.


Keighley Poultry Show.
The twenty-second annual Exhibition of the Keighley Agricultural Society was held at Keighley on Friday, the 2nd inst. The streets of the town were decorated most lavishly, as usual at this annual festival ; but the morning proved most unfavourable, heavy showers of rain falling at close intervals, completely drenching many of the fowls and Pigeons. Some exhibitors, more anxious about the comfort of their birds than that of themselves, put into requisition every available covering for their specimens ; and, in several cases, by the help of a coat or a rug, a position was obtained in the prize list which, under other circumstances, would probably not have been attained ; for it was a task of no ordinary difficulty for the Judges to satisfy themselves as to the merits of the contending pens. Towards midday, however, the weather cleared up, and the show-ground was thronged with visitors, the receipts at the entrance-gates being .£360, or £50 more than last year. (Taken from Journal of horticulture, cottage gardener and country gentlemen 1864)

The write up for the 1874 show.