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'Victoria Park bandstand was very well-used'
Viewed across Victoria Park in all its Regency elegance, the Mansion House – mill-owner William Sugden’s original Eastwood House of 1819 – is seen here long before the addition of the Keighley Leisure Centre.
Bought by public subscription, albeit with half the cost being borne by Henry Isaac Butterfield, of Cliffe Castle, in return for the closure of a right of way across his estate, the Eastwood grounds opened as Victoria Park in 1893.
The ornamental bandstand was a gift from Mr Butterfield. Made of cast-iron, it was designed by Keighley iron merchant JW Laycock.
From 1903 its use was organised by a Victoria Park Band Committee with 39 members, “all of whom live in the immediate neighbourhood of the park”.
During its opening season there were nine band concerts, three of which were billed as “dance nights”. Performers included the prestigious Black Dyke and Lee Mount bands. The following year saw 11 concerts, the year after that 13, though repeated comments on “unfavourable weather” show that Keighley’s dour climate is traditional!
The photograph has been supplied by Mr Kevin Seaton, of Shann Lane, Keighley.