Baildon Urban District Council

From BaildonWiki
Official Guide

As a result of the Local Government Act 1894 Baildon became an Urban District on 1 Jan 1895 and was then administered by Baildon Urban District Council.

First Meeting

The first meeting took place on first January 1895 in a building on Westgate and the members present were:-

  • T M Holmes (Chairman)
  • Jonathan Bentley,
  • Shaw Robinson
  • Oliver Firth
  • John Walker
  • Thompson Hammond
  • John Whitaker
  • William Holmes and
  • Thomas W Padgett.

Rushcroft Terrace

In 1936 they moved to Rushcroft Terrace, where they remained until Bradford Metropolitan District Council was set up in 1974. They had successfully fought off amalgamation with Shipley on a previous occasion. Baildon had a Coat of Arms and the 1964 Official Guide for Baildon, published by the Urban District Council describes its history:-

Coat of Arms


ON April 23rd, 1952, the Baildon council petitioned the Earl Marshal (His Grace the Duke of Norfolk) for the grant of heraldic arms. The Earl Marshal authorised and directed the Kings of Arms to grant and assign 'Armorial Ensigns' and this was done by Letters Patent. This document was signed by Sir George R. Bellew (Garter King of Arms), Sir Arthur W. S. Cochrane (Clarenceux King of Arms) and Sir Gerald W. Wollaston (Norroy and Ulster King of Arms).

The negotiations were conducted through Colonel J. R. B. Walker, Rouge Croix Pursuivent and Mr. Rudolph Howard Moore, then Clerk of the Baildon Urban District Council. The cost of the grant was defrayed from donations received from local ladies and gentlemen as well as from firms interested in Baildon. For their generosity, the council and town was most grateful.

The "blazon" (Heraldic description of the 'achievement') is stated in the letters patent as :— "Vert three Chevronels and in chief a Fleece Or. And for the Crest on a Wreath of the Colours A Skylark holding in the beak a sprig of Gorse slipped and flowered proper."

The colours in the Arms are :— Vert=green. Or =gold.

The Crest consists of a Skylark with a sprig of gorse in its beak, allusive to the Moors in and surrounding Baildon. The Crest stands on a Wreath of gold and green and this rests on a Helm (or helmet).

The Helm appropriate to a local authority is that of an esquire, being of steel, unadorned by gold or silver, set in profile.

The Shield is of green (vert) and at the top, known as the "chief" appears the Golden Fleece, allusive to the rearing for wool of sheep on the Baildon Moorlands. The Golden Fleece formed an integral part of Baildon's unofficial badge and which badge has been used for very many years. Its origin is unknown but it was an unauthorised badge and not in any way heraldic.

The Golden Fleece is in 'Or' as are the three Chevronels. These three chevronels point to the fact that Baildon is a three-tier Town.

The Motto, "SURGAMUS ERGO STRENUE", means "Let us arise with Vigour", a motto which would have appealed to the civic pride of the hillmen of Baildon and appears to be taken from a hymn attributed to St. Ambrose.

Health Reports

The Medical Officer of Health for the Urban District Council prepared Annual Reports up to 1957. You can read copies of the 1921 to 1957 reports here.

From 1958 combined reports for Shipley, Bingley, Baildon and Denholme were produced until the last in 1973. You can read copies of these, except 1970, here.

The Health Reports page also includes a link to the 1852 Report to the general board of health on a preliminary inquiry into the sewerage, drainage, and supply of water, and the sanitary condition of the inhabitants of the township of Baildon, in the County of York.

Commemorative Medals

For several years the Baildon Urban District Council gave the Chair of the Council a commemorative medal. The obverse had an enamel representation of the Coat of Arms and the reverse was engraved with the Councillors name and the date. The medal shown here was for Cllr. H O Griffiths who was Chair for 1955-56.

Past Chair

Chairmen of the Council[1]

Chairmen of the Council since its constitution
1895-96 Thomas Michael Holmes 1896-97 Oliver Firth
1897-98 William Holmes 1898-99 George Edward Robinson
1899-1901 George Camille Waud 1901-09 George Edward Robinson
1909-11 William Holmes 1911-12 Shaw Robinson
1912-13 Frederick Holmes 1913-14 Thomas Denbigh
1914-15 Riley Green 1915-16 William Henry Williams
1916-17 William Edward Rhodes 1917-18 Frederick William Whittaker
1918-19 Willie Jowett 1919-20 Frederick Holmes
1920-21 Percy Louis Carroll 1921-22 Joseph Bailey Jennings
1922-23 William Edward Rhodes 1923-25 Percy Louis Carroll
1925-28 Arthur Greenwood 1928-29 Harry Robinson
1929-30 Amos Copley 1930-31 Percy Louis Carroll
1931-32 Joseph Denby 1932-34 Henry Edgar Sucksmith
1934-36 William Hill 1936-37 Clifford Dewhirst
1937-38 Joseph Denby 1938-39 Harry Baker Robinson
1939-41 William Milner 1941-42 George Henry Copley
1942-43 Arthur Blewitt 1943-44 Charles Knipe
1944-45 William Booth 1945-46 David Vincent Scholes
1946-48 William James Robinson 1948-49 Clifford Dewhirst
1949-50 David Vincent Scholes 1950-51 William Booth
1951-52 Ambrose Theophilus Middleton Schofield 1952-53 Herbert Moore
1953-54 Percy Oates 1954-55 James Arthur Schofield
1955-56 Harold Oliver Griffiths 1956-57 Newton Clough
1957-58 Robert Hill 1958-59 Leonard Percy Warne
1959-60 Norman Woodhead 1960-61 James Berrnard Franks
1961-62 Horace Chapman 1962-63 Clifford Dewhirst
1963-64 Robert William Bolton 1964-65 John George Hansen
1965-66 Jack Hicks 1966-67 Fred Sanderson
1967-68 Charles Pilkington 1968-69 Fred Atkinson
1969-70 Leonard Robinson 1970-71 Frank Clough
1971-72 Geoffrey Mountain[2] 1972-73 Arnold Lightowler
1973-74 Arnold Winston Booth

Council Disbanded

In 1974 the Baildon Urban District Council, which had its offices in Rushcroft Terrace, was disbanded. More detail needed. Who were the prominent Councillors of the times? Shaw Robinson born 1846 became a Councillor when he retired from being the landlord of the Shoulder of Mutton.

News Items

Newspaper articles relevant to BUDC.

Shipley Times and Express - Saturday 22 June 1935
New Library Appreciated.
In connection with the minutes of the Finance Committee, Coun. Milner pointed out that it was only three weeks since the new library had been opened at Woodbottom, yet already there had been enrolled 114 adults and juveniles. It was a very satisfactory position, he thought, and one that showed that there had been definite need for library.

Does the above refer to 48 Otley Road. N Bolton's Ferniehurst Newsagency & Lending Library that is mentioned in some later newspaper adverts of 1954 & '56?

Leeds Mercury - Wednesday 19 January 1938. (Page 5)
It was reported at last night’s meeting of the Baildon Urban District Council that the approval of the Ministry of Health had been received in respect of the Council’s proposals to convert the property at Rushcroft Villas into a new town hall. Mr. W. Milner, chairman of the Finance Committee, said he wanted to take the opportunity of contradicting a rumour which had been prevalent in the town that the entire frontage of the Rushcroft property would have to be pulled down and remodelled.
Bradford Observer - Wednesday 19 October 1938
Baildon Council In New Town Hall.
THE Baildon Council held their first meeting in the new Baildon Town Hall last night. Mr. H. B. Robinson (chairman of the Council) welcomed the townspeople in the public enclosure and expressed the hope that discussions in their new surroundings would be friendly and helpful and that all criticism would be constructive.
Referring to the progress of the urban district of Baildon, Mr. Robbinson said his family had been connected with the affairs of the township since 1851, when the population was only 2,934 and there were only 796 houses. Balidon to-day was completely changed. During his term of office as councillor the population had grown from 8,000 to 12,000, and 1,160 houses had been built by private enterprise and by the Council.
Mr R. Howard Moore (Clerk) read a letter from Mr. A. Creech Jones (M.P. for Shipley Division) complimenting the Council on the provision of the new town hall. The Vicar of Baildon (the Rev. F. Archer) offered a prayer of dedication.
Shipley Times and Express - Wednesday 16 June 1943
Ministry of Food
Your new Ration Books
This year you will get, at one visit, your food ration book and clothing book (bound together but detachable) and, if you’re over 16, a new identity card. Do not post your application. The new books and cards are being prepared and issued in alphabetical order of holders’ surnames. This and other advertisements will tell you when and where your book will be ready. It is no good going to any other place or at any other time. Take your identity card and present food ration book with you. A friend can go for you, but only at the time and place advertised for your surname.

All residents of the South and East Wards of Baildon were to collect their ration books from Woodbottom Infant School before 8pm. 16 June. (Let's hope this information had also been publicised on previous days.)

Residents of North and West Wards were to collect their ration books from the Town Hall using the rear entrance. Surnames beginning

  • A B 17 June,
  • C D E 18 June,
  • F G H 20 June
  • I J K L 21 June
  • M 24 June, 25 June
  • N O 29 June
  • P Q 30 June
  • R 1 July, 2 July
  • S 4 July
  • T U V Y 7 July
  • W 8 July, 9 July

BUDC Clerk, R Howard Moore, Food Executive Officer, Baildon.

Shipley Times and Express - Wednesday 22 April 1959
On the instructions of the Clerk (Mr. R. Howard Moore) Baildon Council’s architects made an inspection of the Town Hall in view of a crack which had appeared in the internal wall. The architects were asked put “telltale” plates, and to submit a report. The Estates Committee approved the Clerk’s action in the matter.

No further report has been found so it is assumed that the crack was not caused by any significant structural defect.


  1. CBMDC list of Mayors of Bradford inc. Chairs of Councils merged in 1974.
  2. Some forenames taken from A Edwick notes