Silsden shown within West Yorkshire
|OS grid reference|
|Metropolitan borough||City of Bradford|
|Metropolitan county||West Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
Silsden is a town and civil parish situated in West Yorkshire, England. It lies on the northern slope of the Aire Valley between Keighley and Skipton. It is about 0.6 miles (1 km) from the river. Along the lower edge of the town is the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The town has a population of 7,999.
Generally an agricultural area, industry came with the canal and the Industrial Revolution. The town hosted a number of mills none of which now operate in their original form. There is still industry in the town, some in old mill buildings and some in a new industrial estate between the town and the river. The town retains some manufacturing.
In 1911 there was a riot in Silsden when the locals attacked the police station. A very unpopular policeman had been too enthusiastic in his duties. Questions were raised in the House of Commons and it was reported in the national press. The policeman was removed from the town and no more trouble occurred. During the 1940s a hostel was built where the fire station now stands on Elliot Street to house the refugees and PoW from various countries and various camps. In 1998 a hoard of 27 gold coins dating back to the 1st century AD were found in the town and subsequently valued at £20,000 by experts appointed by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
The Guinness Book of World Records says that the biggest onion ever was grown by Vincent Throup in Silsden, England, at 10 lb 14 oz (4.9 kg)
In 2009 the new Sports Club facility on Keighley Road was built being the home of Silsden F.C. and Silsden Cricket Club.
While Silsden does not have its own railway station, there is a station 1 mile from the village in nearby Steeton. Even so the station is well patronised by Silsden residents as it also serves the cities of Leeds and Bradford. With modern electric trains it is well used by commuters. In deference to Steeton's larger neighbour the official name of the station is Steeton and Silsden railway station.
Lying between Keighley and Ilkley, Silsden is well served by buses to both of these towns. Silsden's public transport benefits from Silsden being part of West Yorkshire rather than North Yorkshire the border of which runs along one end of the village.
Administration and democracy
Silsden has been administered by the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council since 1974. It also has its own town council.
Silsden has been the home of a number of personalities over the years. The Lampkin family settled in the town after World War II and brothers Arthur, Martin and Alan Lampkin were national champions in motorcycle trials. Martin Lampkin won the 1975 FIM Trial World Championship and his son, Douglas "Dougie" Lampkin, is a twelve-time trials world champion.
Henry Price started his first Fifty Shilling Tailors shop in Silsden. With this fortune, the now Sir Henry Price, bought Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, West Sussex, which is now owned by the National Trust.
Margaret Wintringham, née Longbottom, was a British Liberal Party politician. She was the second woman take her seat in the House of Commons lived in Silsden when her father was the head teacher at Bolton Road School.
On 27 April 1995, a one-off anthology supernatural drama, titled Chiller, aired in which episode 6, titled "number 6" featured Silsden. Silsden was featured almost for the entire one-hour episode, from locations all across the town. Details of the series can be found here and here.
Bonaparte's Restaurant, located on Kirkgate, was the subject of the first-ever episode of Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares in 2004. After the show aired, Bonaparte's owner Sue Ray threatened to take legal action against Ramsay, Channel 4 and the programme makers, Optomen, after claiming that the show put her £400,000 in debt. Christine Hall, producer of Kitchen Nightmares, refused to accept the blame, stating Ray only had herself to blame. The programme revisited the restaurant in the second series, but Ray would only talk to Ramsay off-camera.
In June 2006, Ramsay won a High Court case against the London Evening Standard, which had alleged, after reports from Ray, that scenes and the general condition of Bonaparte's had been faked. Ramsay was awarded £75,000 plus costs. Ramsay said at the time: "I won't let people write anything they want to about me. We have never done anything in a cynical, fake way."
In July 2007, the butchers and shoe shop located on Bradley Road were used in an episode of ITV's The Royal.
Silsden has 4 public houses and 3 members' clubs:
The Robin Hood; The Red Lion; The Punch Bowl; The King's Arms; The Sunnybank Social Club; The Cobbydale Social Club; The Conservative Club.
- Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Bradford Retrieved 1 September 2009
- Daily Mirror 10 April 1911 "Mob attack police station"
- The Silsden Hoard
- "Arthur Lampkin Sr. obituary". yorkshirepost.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
- Competition Commission Report: United Drapers Stores
- "Ramsay's nightmare put me out of business" - TimesOnline
- "Chef Ramsay wins £75,000 damages". BBC News. 20 June 2006.
- Silsden.net - Local resource
- Silsden at the Open Directory Project
- silsdencc.co.uk - Silsden Cricket Club website
- silsdenafc.net - Silsden AFC website.
- silsdenwhitestar.co.uk - Silsden Whitestars website