Oh joy, the place is going to be full of Ozzies bent on destruction. Perhaps we could open a Walkabout Bar? Before they go out of business. And all because Terry Deary, author of the Horrible Histories books, has declared that the boomerang originated in Ilkley. Which is all because a) he's got a book out. and (b) cos he's been commissioned to say so by Boomerang Media, who distribute those postcards around pubs and clubs. And of course the first time you look at the rock, you see a child's plastic toy. Which is exactly what the Victorians who carved it probably thought as well. Nothing like a fylfot for bringing publicity to the town... And, even if it is older than that it isn't stone age, and certainly doesn't pre-date the coming of the aborigines to Oz. It's a Celtic design which dates to about 800-500BC; which is when the very similar Camunian Rose and Hovenas designs date to. So, for all this bollocks that Deary's talking, we, the fine upstanding citizens of this burgh, will have to pay by 'welcoming' loads of Aussies frothing at the mouth over the damage done to their reputation. Well, not their reputation as such, more the reputation of the aboriginal people who the White Australians complaining about this have spent the last two hundred years, shooting, getting addicted to alcohol and throwing in jail. Hmm... (Oh, and you do think the papers could get in a picture of the actual thing rather than the cement replica next to it don't you? Glad to see the hacks failing to do any research again). Good thing he didn't see the Badger Stone, god knows what he'd have thought we invented...
now, as I remember it, the start of the Ilkley Carnival was the traditional tradesmens cricket match between the black and the white hats. This has been running, on and of, for well over a century (with some years far more off than on), and from it and the annual Sheep Fair, descened our fairly modern carnival. But where was it this year? In all the western gunfight, dogshow fun, where was the tradtional chance for the ladies of the parish to show how much better they are at creeket than their menfolk? Or did I miss something?
I'm sure many of you know of the existence of this place, but anyway.. Ilkley, South Africa. I used to have a theory that if you went to somewhere similarly named to somewhere else, you could travle between the two. Thus Stamford Bridge would take you from Yorkshire to Chelski. And Leeds, Utah was where the Saints came from, of course. I'll shut up now.
There's long been a debate about the siting of the Roman Fort of Olicana. Most Ickley writers assume that Ilkley and Olicana are one and the same, but many alternatives have been suggested. This adds more fuel to the flames. Olicana here is sited in Elslack, not even close to Ickley in Castleberg. It certainly downgrades the importance of the place. But it relies on the suggestion that the origin of 'Ilkley' itself comes from a personal name, Yllica. Many writers make the more obvious linguistic connection with Olicana...Ollicley becoming Illeclei and so on. Take away the name connection and the evidence for Ilkley as the siting of Olicana is slight to say the least. Which would rather blow a hole in all those local organisations using the name!