A THREE-day exhibition in Silsden Town Hall provided locals and visitors with an in-depth insight into the experiences of the town and its people during the First World War.

The event was opened last Friday afternoon (Aug 8) by David Locker, nephew of Silsden man Bernard Locker, one of the many British soldiers killed at the Somme whose body was never found.

Hundreds of people attended the exhibition, which was free to enter. It was part of a full weekend programme of First World War centenary activities in the town, arranged by Silsden Local History Group, with funding from the Heritage Lottery, Keighley Area Panel and the group itself.

The weekend also featured evening concerts, a Royal British Legion-run cafe, a "Reflections" recital by Silsden Singers and a "From the Menin Gate" tribute by Steeton Male Voice Choir.

Other local organisations involved in the programme included Silsden Community Productions, St James' Knitters and Silsden Town Band.

Silsden resident Cathy Liddle, a member of the local history group, said: "It was an incredible weekend. We had hundreds of people through the door.

"People were still wanting to coming in at 3pm on Sunday afternoon when we were closing, so we even had to turn a few people away.

"The two concert performances were sell-outs and we also had capacity audiences for the recitals.

"Everyone seemed to appreciate the work that had gone into assembling the exhibition. That was in the making for about nine months.

"Mr Locker spoke very movingly about his uncle, who had been a player in Silsden Brass Band.

"We had 20 story boards, each with a different theme, and all put together through research done by the local history group.

"Thanks to the money from Heritage Lottery Fund and Bradford Council we were able to have the boards professionally designed, so they looked wonderful."

She added that the exhibition had been busy for the whole weekend, apart from a brief period on Sunday morning when it was raining heavily.

She said some of the display panels would be used again in future, and paid special tribute to history group member Ray Colling for making sure the weekend ran smoothly.