A KEIGHLEY poisoner features in a new book of historical stories from Airedale.

Tales Of Old Airedale: A Miscellany features 10 true-life tales including the exploits of murderer John Sagar.

Author Lisa Firth also explores the secret history of Goit Stock, a beauty spot between Harden, Wilsden and Cullingworth.

Lisa has investigated tales stretching across the West Riding, including the Cottingley Fairies, the “new Eden” of Saltaire, the family who owned Bolling Hall in Bradford, hangman James Berry, and the “Bingley Byron” John Nicholson.

Lisa, who lives in Harden, has previously published feature articles on local history in regional magazines such as Northern Life and Living North.

She said: “My book investigates historical stories which are notable for being little-known, quirky or unusual.”

Lisa said the trial of John Sagar, a Keighley workhouse master accused of poisoning his wife, shocked Victorian Yorkshire to its core.

“Scandal gripped the district as lurid details of the Sagars’ life together emerged.

“There was sex, violence, adultery, illicit menage a trois relationships and a string of suspicious infant deaths going back decades.

“Witnesses fell over each other to testify against the suspect and it seemed he was heading to the rope.

“But the trial collapsed, with Sagar walking from court a free man.”

The Lost World of Goit Stock as a forgotten story of a wooded valley on the hills above Bingley.

Lisa said: “It’s hard to believe now that this sleepy forest was once a thriving tourist resort, complete with menagerie, boating lake, dance hall and cafe.

“During the area’s heyday in the Roaring Twenties, the gentle rush of the beck was drowned out by the chattering of monkeys and canaries, the oom-pahing of a brass band and the riotous merrymaking of thousands of joyful visitors.”

Tales Of Old Airedale: A Miscellany costs £6.99 plus £2.30 postage and packing by visiting the website lisafirtheditorial.co.uk.