Uncertain future of former Keighley College buildings causes concern for local heritage (From Keighley News)
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Uncertain future of former Keighley College buildings causes concern for local heritage
8:00am Saturday 26th January 2013 in News
Fears are growing that local heritage is at risk because of the uncertain future of the former Keighley College buildings.
Town councillor Brian Hudson said the older part of the empty properties – between North Street, Alice Street and Lord Street – contains important architectural features that deserve to be saved.
Coun Hudson was a pupil at Keighley Boys Grammar School in the 1950s when it was based in the same building. He remembers the premises included stained glass windows portraying images representing the school’s different houses.
The older section of the property, part of which dates back to 1870, also includes a magnificent staircase and a mullioned rose window at the gable end facing onto North Street.
“These should be saved because they’re part of our heritage,” Coun Hudson said. “Once things like this are gone, that’s it, they’re gone.
“I’d like to see them incorporated into any future building, but I’m afraid if or when there is demolition, these pieces of architecture will be sold off.”
Both he and Ian Dewhirst, a local historian who was also a pupil at Keighley Boys Grammar and pens a weekly Memory Lane article in the Keighley News, said they would not miss the 1950s and 1960s wings of the premises.
But he understands the older property still contains a “marvellous”, elaborate staircase. “There’s even a bit of rusted metal jutting out from the gable end, which is left over from the days when there were trolleybuses in Keighley,” he added.
Paul North, Bradford Council’s Masterplan manager, said: “The North Street building of the former Keighley College is not listed but does stand in a conservation area. There are some heritage features within the building that warrant attention for retention, where possible, or re-use.”