FROM these charred ruins of Fred Simpson's drapery stores in Oakworth Road was to arise another Keighley cinema, the Oxford Hall Picture Palace in 1911.

The cause of this fire in 1908 was "a mystery", but blame was conveniently laid on some dresses of inflammable material, whilst everything was happily insured.

Two years later Mr Simpson's emporium in Cavendish Street burnt out under similar circumstances and in 1911 he was able to open his picture palace in a "spacious building" on his Oakworth Road site.

Here, however, his application for a music licence was opposed by three neighbouring places of worship.

Although an apparently unscrupulous entrepreneur, Mr Simpson was a cinema pioneer insofar as he made his own short films, featuring a character called Dr Killem and using local people and locations. One eye witness described these as "folk running round the back streets with dustbin lids"!