Saturday, 3 August 2013

Grafenburg & Ilkley

waste not, want not!

A remarkable conversation took place recently in Darwin Gardens between myself and two visitors from abroad. They enquired about the history of the white buildings on the moor above and what kind of bathing took place. It transpired they came from Czechoslovakia knowing of the Priessnitz cures and Grafenburg exceedingly well, names synonymous with Ilkley’s hydropathic era.

Today Priessnitz cures are virtually unheard of in these parts but in Grafenburg they are still part of daily life, being used for a wide range of ailments. One using a ‘cure’ to aid relief of asthma, while the other spoke highly of a ‘Priessnitz Bandage’ to ward off symptoms of the common cold and sore throat. It would seem what Silesian farmer Vinzenz Priessnitz practised in the early nineteenth century is still as efficacious today. We have much to learn from the use of water in our daily lives, time for developers to think again in providing their modern des-res with multitudinous water wasting paraphernalia. Such is progress.

Wonky Wimple!

Surely a bit of lateral thinking is needed with recourse to Burley’s Parish Church spire. Why don’t they rid St Mary of that overbearing wimple and take a leaf from Norman Shaw’s book? St Margaret’s ecclesiastical emporium on Queens Road in Ilkley shows there’s no need for a spire. The lack of things pointed saves brass all round. You can still have bells or long playing records of same, and possible future expansion outwards instead of upwards. Inwardly St Mary’s shows it’s rustic heritage when compared to Shaw’s religious magnificence. The continued use of pews restricts the use of the building to that of formal prayer. Whereas at St Margaret’s chairs have long taken the place of pews and it’s interior used for many and varied events. Time to cast off the old and bring in the new!

The Confused Apostles

It would appear apostles are as confused today as they were thousands of years ago. I noted this in a book about that song and Ilkley’s Moor. A Gazette article earlier this year highlighted an enigma which has long puzzled me. For the past twenty or so years I and friends have combed near every square inch of Ilkley Moor in search of Ilkley’s illusive Apostle Stones. Media and historians are forever quoting their existence but finding them is quite another matter. Burley folk can count themselves lucky as their Apostle Stones are easy to find. In fact they are on the Ordnance Survey map but not Ilkley’s. Would those who know where Ilkley’s Apostle Stones are please enlighten the rest of us so we can enjoy them as much as Burley enjoys theirs. We hope 2013 will, at last, lead to the discovery of Ilkley’s long lost Apostle Stones. They must be up there somewhere.