THE WORK of famed Keighley artist Stanley R Boardman will live on thanks to Keighley historians.

The volunteers have agreed to look after artwork and paperwork of the ‘1920s Boy’ after being approached by his daughter Jill Osborne.

Jill asked Keighley and District Local History Society to look after professional signwriter Stan’s papers on behalf of the people of Keighley.

The collection includes 24 oil paintings, four glass gildings, two wood carvings, five pencil and ink cartoons, and several articles written by Stan.

The collection includes many of the famous paintings which formed part of the 1920s Boy exhibition at Cliffe Castle in the 1970s.

Stan’s cartoon-like pictures depicted many of the colourful characters well known in Keighley during the early part of the 20th century.

Tim Neal, from the Local History Society, said Stan was born in 1915 and spent most of his life living in Keighley and Silsden.

He served in the army in the Second World War but was invalided out after contracting malaria.

Mr Neal said: “Stan had a local sign-writing business but in the early 1970s was encouraged to paint his memories of the places and people in Keighley between the wars.

“These local characters included Emily Matchbox, Jimmy Merry-legs and Freddy Gramophone, and several injured veterans of the Great War.

“Stan became something of a celebrity, featuring in the press, on the radio and on television, including several appearances on Pebble Mill at One. He passed away in 1996.”

The Local History Society has catalogued the collection and put it into storage to ensure it remains together and does not leave Keighley, in keeping with Stan’s family’s wishes.

Details of the contents are available on the society’s Flickr site, initially only to members, and will be the subject of society talk on July 12 at 7pm in Keighley Library.

Keighley Art Club member Barbara Klempka last year wrote a tribute to Stan in her monthly Keighley News column, to mark the 20th anniversary of his death.

She wrote how the artist had a long working relationship with Keighley youth theatre HYT, and allowed them to print four cards of his pictures.

The youth theatre dramatised the 1920s Boy exhibition in their 1976 musical Stan, after he spent a year of work producing the paintings.

She also recalled how Ron Broadbent made 1920s Boy, a film for Yorkshire Film Archive, which achieved the Best Amateur Movie award in 1978.