Silsden prepares to remember its wartime past

Councillor Andrew Mallinson, left, is joined by Jordan Russell and Mike Ellison, right, of Silsden Community Productions as they prepare for their recreation of the Masqueraders' performance

Councillor Andrew Mallinson, left, is joined by Jordan Russell and Mike Ellison, right, of Silsden Community Productions as they prepare for their recreation of the Masqueraders' performance

Councillor Andrew Mallinson, left, is joined by Jordan Russell and Mike Ellison, right, of Silsden Community Productions as they prepare for their recreation of the Masqueraders' performance

Councillor Andrew Mallinson, left, is joined by Jordan Russell and Mike Ellison, right, of Silsden Community Productions as they prepare for their recreation of the Masqueraders' performance

First published in Keighley by

A SILSDEN concert party, which entertained wounded soldiers during the First World War, is to be revived – for two nights only.

Silsden Community Productions will recreate The Masqueraders – an ensemble of singers and comedians which regularly visited Morton Banks War Hospital and Keighley Victoria Hospital – this Friday and Saturday (August 8 and 9) at Silsden Town Hall.

The performances will feature a series of sketches and songs devised and directed by David Hardman.

Craven ward councillor Andrew Mallinson said the Masqueraders would be preceded by a poignant drama presented by Silsden Local History Group, featuring poems and original letters from the First World War era.

Doors open at 7pm and £5 tickets are available from Twiggs newsagent, in Kirkgate.

"I think it will pull at the heartstrings," added Coun Mallinson, who has allocated some council ward funding to help support the town's First World War commemorations.

"The start will bring it home to people what it was like to be a soldier during that period, giving people a feeling of the turmoil suffered whilst fighting for their country, and also what Silsden was like at that time.

"It will also be educational for the younger ones who will be there.

"It's good to see that the town has pulled together this group of volunteers to put on the performances. Silsden does have a history of playing a large role in both the First and Second World Wars, with many people from the town going away to fight and giving their lives."

There is also an exhibition at the town hall tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday, revealing Silsden’s Story In The Great War Years, researched and compiled by Silsden Local History Group. Admission to this display is free.

The whole weekend of "Silsden's Story" is being organised and hosted by the History Group, with funding from the Heritage Lottery, Keighley Area Panel and the history group itself.

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