Silsden’s foremost local historian and archivist William Neil Cathey has died after a short illness, aged 76.

Mr Cathey, who was born in the town, had developed a large collection of photographs, historical documents and memorabilia.

His research resulted in the publication of three books during the1970s and 1980s, including A Pictorial History Of Old Cobbydale and Silsden In Old Picture Postcards.

The third book – The History Of Silsden Fire Brigade – reflected Mr Cathey’s own years of service as a retained fireman.

Mr Cathey, a former sub-postmaster, was educated at Keighley Boys’ Grammar School and began his working life in the RAF.

Like his father before him, he served for several years as a parish councillor.