Monday 3rd June – Friday 7th June was collections week at Keighley Local Studies Library to enable work to be carried out on the collections of Local Authority material held in the archives in particular the official and administrative records for Keighley.
Keighley Township initially consisted of a Select Vestry of Parish Officers who managed the Churchwardens, overseers of the poor, surveyors of highways, constables and collectors of Taxes. By the 1820s this arrangement was inadequate and in 1824, by Act of Parliament, Keighley Improvement Commissioners were appointed for lighting, paving, cleansing, regulating and generally improving the town and from 1816, Keighley Water Works Company supplied water to many parts of it. A gas works was built in 1825 to supply street lamps, 93 were lit in November 1825. Gas was also sold to mills and individuals.
The Local Board of Health, constituted in 1855, replaced the Water Works Company and the Improvement Commissioners and supplied the town with sewers, pavements, pure water and a gas works. See the Local Board of Health Plan for 1870 in the library.
The Poor Law Union for Keighley was established in 1836 to administer to the poor instead of the Parish Overseers. Keighley Union was governed by a Board of Guardians answerable to the central Poor Law Commission. Keighley Library holds the records for the Keighley Union and also for the North Bierley Union, covering the Bradford area of administration. Keighley town became a Borough under a Town Council in 1882. It came under Bradford MDC in 1974.
Keighley Library holds Township records from the 17th century, Local Board minutes 1855-1882, Borough Council minutes 1882-1974 and many other related records including the minutes of individual committees, c1855-1949. A full listing of these is available in the library. The minutes for the Town Council from c1910 are available on open access in bound volumes, as are the accounts. Individual committee minutes are kept in the archive. Keighley Library also holds Keighley Rural District Council records and some Urban District Council records for Haworth, Oakworth, Oxenhope.
For further details of these unique and fascinating records, rich sources of historical information see our new leaflet ‘Official and Administrative Records for Keighley’