I seldom write articles involving myself, because the purpose of this blog is to write material about Bancrofts who have lived in the past, with details of how they lead their lives, but recently I was involved in an event which I consider will be an important moment in future local history, and so the details of the event should be recorded for future generations of researchers.
I have been a magistrate on the Keighley Bench since 1988, and Chairman of the Bench for the last 3 years. As part of that duty, I have had to be involved recently with the closure of the Keighley Magistrates Court, situated in Bingley, and the merger of our bench with the larger one in Bradford, to form a new Bench called "The Bradford and Keighley Bench"
"Today is an important day in local history…..the closure of the Keighley Magistrates court, sitting here in Bingley.
"Bingley’s justice can be traced back to the 16th century when part of the Old White Horse Inn was used as a court, with the cellar used as a prison cell and the stocks in use in the Inn’s courtyard….indeed the stocks still have pride of place just down the road from here in the town centre.
Dealing with justice in this country would be unmanageable without magistrates, giving their time freely, to deal with over 90% of all the court work in this country.
And so I have one last duty to perform as Chairman of Bench, and it is to announce with a heavy heart that.....The Keighley Magistrate's Court is now closed."
And here's a nice letter I received recently from The Rt.Hon. Lord Justice Goldring, Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales.
Here is what the local newspaper had to say about all this:
Present at the ceremony was the High Sheriff West Yorkshire, Mr Anthony Grant OBE, and the Deputy Mayor of Bradford, Mrs Valerie Slater
|Anthony Grant OBE|
|Mrs Valerie Slater|
The Bench recently presented me with this gavel to be used at this closing ceremony, which is an item I shall always treasure. The inscription on the box says: