“Ilkley in the inter-war years” is a diary listing by each week and month between 1919 – 1939. An extract from the introductory sections is as follows:
When one studies local history and has the privilege of looking at paper copies of one’s own local newspaper, one can easily get carried away with a whole series of ‘ed’ words. One has explored, discovered, found, connected, engaged, unearthed, imagined, created, unlocked, opened, revealed and celebrated – in this case the history of an iconic town solely from the pages of the Ilkley Gazette since 1868. The paper actually appeared initially in May 1861, but the first 8 ½ years of the paper are for some reason lost or unavailable.
Wood pulp came into Great Britain from Norway until 9th April, 1940. Paper was rationed from September 1939 and newspapers limited to the amount they could use. By 1945 newspapers were limited to 25% of the pre-War consumption. The ‘Control of Paper Order’ came in to affect in 1940 after Norway was seized by the Nazis. Importation of newsprint and wood pulp had been stopped. A drastic reduction in the number of pages per issue was inevitable and reports were definitely limited in length.
In spite of economics borne out of necessity, local newspaper editors continued to present fairly and accurately items of local news. It was likely these would appear in summarised form and items of minor importance eliminated, or if any other changes would have to be made as a result of the Order or the paper would ask for the indulgence of the readers.