Silsden is a small town situated in West Yorkshire and bordering North Yorkshire.
Silsden had a mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book as “Siglesdene”, and as the most important village in Craven.
Generally an agricultural area, industry came with the canal and the Industrial Revolution. The town hosted a number of mills none of which now operate in their original form. There is still industry in the town, some in old mill buildings and some in a new industrial estate between the town and the river. The town retains some manufacturing.
In 1911 there was a riot in Silsden when the Police Station was attacked. A very unpopular policeman had been too enthusiastic in his duties. Questions were raised in the House of Commons and it was reported in the national press. The Policeman was removed from the town and no more trouble occurred.
During the 1940s a hostel was built off Howden Road, (now a housing estate) The hostel housed refugees and Prisoners of War from various countries and various camps. A plaque to commemorate this is located at the bottom of Ings way, at the entrance to the housing estate
In 1998 a hoard of 25 gold coins dating back to the 1st century AD were found in the town and subsequently valued at £20,000 by experts.
The Guinness book of World Records reported that the biggest onion ever, at 14 lb (6.4 kg), was grown in Silsden in 2010 by Vincent Throup. However this has since been beaten.
On 6 July 2014, Stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de France from York to Sheffield, passed through the town.
The Lampkin family lived at Silsden during the Second World War. Lampkin brothers Arthur , Martin and Alan were, later, national Motorcyle Trials champions. Martin Lampkin won the 1975 FIM trials World Championship and his son, Dougie Lampkin is a twelve-time trials world champion.
Henry Price started his first Fifty Shilling Tailors shop in Silsden. With this fortune, the now Sir Henry Price, bought Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, West Sussex, which is now owned by the National Trust.
Margaret Wintringham, née Longbottom, was a British Liberal Party politician. She was the second woman take her seat in the House of Commons and lived in Silsden when her father was the head teacher at Bolton Road School.
On 27 April 1995, a one-off anthology supernatural drama, titled Chiller, aired in which episode 6, titled “number 6” featured Silsden. Silsden was featured for almost the entire one-hour episode, using locations across the town.
Bonaparte’s Restaurant, on Kirkgate, was the subject of the first-ever episode of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares in 2004. After the show aired, Bonaparte’s owner Sue Ray threatened to take legal action against Ramsay, Channel 4 and the programme makers, Optomen, after claiming that the show put her £400,000 in debt. Christine Hall, producer of Kitchen Nightmares, refused to accept the blame, stating Ray only had herself to blame. The programme revisited the restaurant in the second series, but Ray would only talk to Ramsay off-camera.
In June 2006, Ramsay won a High Court case against the London Evening Standard, which had alleged, after reports from Ray, that scenes and the general condition of Bonaparte’s had been faked. Ramsay was awarded £75,000 plus costs. Ramsay said at the time: “I won’t let people write anything they want to about me. We have never done anything in a cynical, fake way.
In July 2007, the butchers and shoe shop located on Bradley Road were used in an episode of ITV’s The Royal.
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