Ali Wood 30 Nov , 2013

Dementia Friendly Ilkley –  Alan Titchmarsh Visit to Clarke Foley


Pictured is Alan Titchmarsh who visited Clarke Foley on Monday 10th October 2016, in his capacity as Patron of Dementia Friendly Ilkley.  He spent his time talking to members of the Dementia Friendly Ilkley group and is pictured alongside them and Judith Ellis, Centre Manager.



New Entrance Flower Bed

The Clarke Foley Centre would like to thank Ilkley’s 5th Avenue for their generous donation of £50 towards plants for the new flower bed outside the new front entrance. The donation was made in return for the loan of banqueting chairs for a fashion show.


Ascot Comes to the Troutbeck; An Evening at the Races

The Troutbeck Care Home generously held an evening at the races to help raise funds for the new entrance doors at the Clarke Foley Centre.

Guests were greeted with aperitifs and shown through to the former Victorian Bathing Room, pausing on the way to admire the exciting array of prizes kindly donated by many local businesses. The former Victorian Bathing Room, which has a beautiful stained glass vaulted ceiling, was the perfect setting for the elegantly dressed residents in their hand made hats, made especially for the evening.

Canapes, drinks, race cards, betting slips, big screen and running commentary, all added to the atmosphere. As well as the seven horse races, a race with a difference was also shown featuring Afghan hound racing.  These elegant dogs showed a speed and fluidity that was a delight to watch.  A delicious buffet was also provided during an interval in the races. Family and friends attending the evening, all agreed that it was a “grand spread” and that the staff had done a “wonderful job”.   The races had definitely come to the Troutbeck in style.

A total of £365 was raised and a cheque was presented to the Centre on 7th October.


June 15th 2015 – 1940s dance was a great success!

A nostalgic and fun 1940s style tea with potted meat and corned beef sandwiches along with sardines on toast, followed by home made iced buns, Maids of Honour Tarts, Yorkshire tea bread and tinned fruit and jelly was served by volunteers at the Clarke Foley Centre at the “We’ll Meet Again” afternoon sponsored by SpecSavers.

1940s dance

The entertainment was also much enjoyed by all; singing from Shirley and Michael, dancing led by Darren and Jane, the Clarke Follies Keep Fitters rendition of The Red Arrows as well as a raffle meant that there was something for everyone to enjoy.

Over £900 was raised towards the total cost of fitting automatic doors at the Centre to enable those in wheelchairs or using walkers to enter the Centre.


June 8th 2015 – Poppy Appeal

Help us support Christopher Binns’ fundraising for the Royal British Legion. We have printed a limited supply of knitting and crotchet patterns which are available from the Centre below where you see this poster. Knit or crotchet a poppy for us to sell for the Royal British Legion. For more details see the poster below.

Poppy Poster


April 27th 2015 – Catering Manager (Job Vacancy)

Do you have a passion for good food and customer service?

We’re looking for a capable and enthusiastic person to become our catering manager to oversee the full range of our catering operations, currently café, lunch club and events catering.

This is a new post and you will work with Centre staff and volunteers to develop this key aspect of our activities.

The Clarke Foley Centre Charity is a town centre community resource and hosts a wide range of classes, groups and societies, and commercial and private lettings.

Approximately 28 hours per week, £8.50 per hour.

For further information and the application pack please contact the Centre Manager.   01943 607016


April 27th 2015 – Coming soon (in June) to the Clarke Foley Centre!

1940s dance “We’ll Meet Again” with Shirley and Michael. Go to our ‘What’s On’ page for more information and to book tickets.

We'll Meet Again Dance











Wednesday 18th March 2015 – Clarke Foley on BCB Radio 106.6.FM!BCB

The Clarke Foley Centre have been sailing the radio waves! Please click HERE to open a new tab and listen to a podcast of the show. The episode was the second installment of a new radio program titled ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’. The show was presented by Clive Whittaker who’s interviewing technique facilitated a relaxed style and elicited information from all the interviewees very well. Clive works for Bradford Community Voluntary Service as a Community Centre Support Worker. His show ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ celebrates the joys of community in Bradford. Listen to Judith, David, Annie and Blake as they talk with Clive about their roles at the Centre and then each pick their own song to play on the radio. For further information on the content of the show you can read the previous news entry below.


February 2015 – Clarke Foley on BCB Radio 106.6.FM!

Clive Whitaker of Bradford Community and Voluntary Services office in Bradford is presenting a series of programmes about community centres in the Bradford District on BCB Radio.  On Friday 6 February Clive made a recording at the Clarke Foley Centre.  Blake Hemingway spoke about volunteering here, Annie Galloway talked about the work and role of the Directors, David Dawson spoke as a member of the New Horizons Orchestra and centre Manager Judith Ellis spoke about the founding of the Centre by James Clarke and his sister Sarah Foley.  Watch this space to find out when the programmes will be broadcast!


February 21st 2015 – Disappearing Ilkley

Mike Dixon TalkOn Saturday 21st February 2015 Mike Dixon will be giving a talk at the Clarke Foley Centre in the Concert Hall from 7:30pm until 9:15pm. The tickets are £5 each, and available either from the cafe or from Eventbrite. ALL proceeds for new automatic doors. For more information on our automatic doors fundraising please click HERE. Refreshments included. All welcome.









Monday November 24th 2014 – An Introduction to Geology and Landscape

This spring the Clarke Foley Centre, in collaboration with the West Yorkshire Geology Trust, is repeating its popular and over-subscribed ‘An Introduction to Geology and Landscape’ Course’.

This six-week course is aimed at those with an interest in geology but with little or no experience. The course programme will include rocks, minerals and fossils, the earth’s history and structure, and the landscapes of Northern Britain.

The course is led by William Varley of the West Yorkshire Geology Trust.

The course is at the Clarke Foley Centre on Thursday mornings from 10.00am to 12.30pm on January 15th, 22nd, 29th; February 5th, 12th, 19th 2015. 

The course fee is £30.

Due to the hands-on nature of the course places are limited. To request a place please contact the Clarke Foley Centre, click HERE or telephone 01943 607016.


Monday October 13th 2014 – Great News!

The All Churches Trust has awarded us a greatly appreciated £500 towards our automatic doors fund! We at the Clarke Foley Centre would like to give a big THANK YOU for taking us ever closer to our target!


October 2014 – The Heritage Boys – playing LIVE in concert at the Clarke Foley Centre

The Heritage Boys from the Washburn Valley are playing in a concert with supper at the Clarke foley Centre on Saturday 25th October.  The band started playing songs remembered from their youth in the 1960s and 70s.  They played ‘for one night only’ to raise funds to build the Washburn Valley Heritage Centre and were immediately asked to play again and again.

The concert at the Clarke Foley Centre is a joint fundraiser for Help for Heroes, the Boys charity of the year, and the Centre’s appeal for installation of automatic doors.  Centre Manager Judith Ellis said ‘We need to install automatic doors so that the Centre is equally accessible to all people.  At present, if you use a wheelchair or other walking aid it’s impossible to open the doors.  The Centre is a very popular meeting place for more than 50 local groups, clubs, societies and activities.  We must ensure that we aren’t excluding people because they can’t manage the doors.’

Group photo

Heritage Boys Poster


(Band photo courtesy of the Heritage Boys)

The Heritage Boys Concert is part of a programme of events to raise the £41,000 that’s needed to install inner sliding and outer folding doors at the Centre. The entrance porch will also be altered and the access regraded. Planning permission has already been granted. Events later in the year include the Grand Christmas Raffle and a concert by the Fairfax Singers during the afternoon of Saturday 20 December.

Tickets are available from the Centre ( or 01943 607016 or by clicking HERE to book online through Eventbrite on our website. Ticket price of £9 includes a hot two course supper appropriate to the period.  There will also be a raffle, a bar and prizes for the best period costumes.


October 2014 – Public Meeting

The 2014 public meeting is now just over a week away on the 22nd of October! Members of the public are not only welcome, but actively encouraged to attend. If you wish to attend please contact Judith by calling 01943 607016 or emailing

Public Meeting Image



October 2014 – Newsletter

The October issue of the Clarke Foley Centre’s newsletter is out now! Click HERE to open it as a pdf file in a new tab.


September 2014 – Meet and Make Sewing Class

April 229 April 232

Lindsay Kitching runs a Meet & Make Sewing Class at the Clarke Foley Centre 2pm-4pm on Wednesdays.  If you’ve ever wanted to wear tailor made this is the class for you.  Lindsay specializes in tailoring. Students learn to make patterns and adjust them to your body shape and size.  This term’s projects include a man’s shirt and ladies tailored two piece. Male and female students welcome.  Lindsay teaches tailoring and sewing in a friendly, light-hearted way, enabling all students to produce well made garments.  £23 per term.


September 2014 – New Teeny Linguists group coming to Clarke Foley Centre

Teeny Linguists (for parents and babies/toddlers) is coming to Ilkley and making learning fun, book now to avoid disappointment. Click on the poster to zoom in for more information.

Teeny Linguists Poster

Contact 07729 461163,,


September 2014 – Italian for Holidays class has only 1 place left!

There is just one place left on Dawn Brown’s Italian for Holidays class at the Clarke Foley Centre.  This popular class was new to the Centre last year.  Dawn enlivens the language learning with information about life in Italy and what you might need to know for your holidays there.  Tastings and recipes enhance the experience.  The class runs on Wednesday afternoons from 2 – 4 pm and starts on 8th October.  The cost is £23 per term.  For more information or phone 01943 607016


September 2014 – Geology classes are returning to Clarke Foley

By popular demand William Varley will again be  running the six week An introduction to geology and landscape course this autumn at the Clarke Foley Centre.  The course is run in conjunction with West Yorkshire Geology Trust and starts on Thursdays 10am-12.30pm January 15th, 22nd, 29th, February 5th, 12th, 19th.  The fee of £30 includes all course materials.  This is geology made fun and interesting by a lively and enthusiastic expert, and plenty of opportunity to feel, smell and even taste the rocks.  Places are limited so sign up now.

Geology poster

July 2014 – New Ilkley Town MapsTown Map inset

In July the Ilkley Town Maps on Brook Street and in the main central car park were updated.

The new maps now look much more current and feature the Clarke Foley Centre prominently with a new advert for the Centre and its website!

Town Map





Sunday 6th July 2014 – The Clarke Foley Flower Festival 2014!

From Friday 4th July until Sunday 6th July the Clarke Foley Centre hosted an amazingly successful 3-day Flower Festival.

The Flower Festival was generously staged by members of the Ilkley Flower Club who hold their monthly meetings at the Centre. Musical accompaniment was provided by the New Horizons Orchestra on Friday. Yorkshire’s finest towns and villages were depicted in flowers. Le Tour passed through all of them during Stage 1 of Le Grande Depart.



Thursday 3rd July 2014 – The Ilkley Traditional Ride

On Thursday the 3rd of July the Clarke Foley Centre and Ilkley Cycling Club collaborated to celebrate the momentous event of the Tour de France passing through the town and surrounding area.

The riders met at the Bandstand on the Grove for a send-off tea, followed by a leisurely jaunt first to the renowned spa village of Ben Rhydding and thence to the famous Cavendish Pavilion at Bolton Abbey. Back in Ilkley at the Clarke Foley Centre there was a small and elegant reception with refreshments courtesy of Messrs. Lishmans.

Traditional cycling attire was the order of the day. Old bicycles were encouraged and impeccable manners were expected. Modern bicycles, c. 1940 onwards, were also welcomed. Prizes were awarded for the oldest bicycles (gentleman’s and ladies) and for the finest man and woman’s costumes.






Sunday 22nd June 2014 – The Clarke Foley Dance Festival 2014

In June the Clarke Foley Centre hosted a 13-day Dance Festival in partnership with Caller Jonathan Nicholas, and Darren and Jane of Harrogate Dance Centre. This unique and ambitious event was a first for us. There were all sorts of dances to try, and the Festival ran from 13th June to 22nd June 2014.

Thank you to all those who took part! You will be pleased to know that the funds raised at all the dance events have gone towards helping us to install the Centre’s New Automatic Doors!


Monday 7 April 2014 – Monday Mornings don’t get much better than this!

That’s what Judith Ellis, Manager of Ilkley’s Clarke Foley Centre thought when she opened the post on Monday morning. She was overjoyed to find a cheque for £2,000 from an anonymous donor. The Centre is raising funds to install automatic doors at both entrances to the building because the current doors are very heavy for people to open without help. “We need £21,000 for the doors themselves and a further £20,000 to modify the front entrance so we can install them’, said Judith. “Thanks to this very generous donation, and a couple of other very kind gifts we already have £5,000’.  The Centre staff and Directors are particularly encouraged when people make gifts like this which are both an endorsement of the Centre’s ethos and work as well as practical support for the project. ‘We believe it’s important to be equally accessible for all people including those who use wheelchairs and walking aids.”

The Centre is marking its fundraising achievement on a ‘Bunometer’ on the wall in the Café. This pyramid of buns was created by the Centre’s art classes.  21 windows show blank buns each representing £1,000.  A blank bun is replaced with an individual and beautifully decorated bun each time £1,000 is reached.

Many of the 1,650 people who use the Centre each week are contributing with events such as a Table Top Sale and a Victorian Tea Room.  Darren Hodgson of Harrogate Dance Centre has launched a 13 day Dance Festival in June with proceeds going to the Automatic Doors Fund. A three-day Flower Festival, with arrangements representing Yorkshire towns and villages on the route of Le Tour, is being staged by  Ilkley Flower Club on 4th – 6th July. “Everyone’s doing their bit”, said Chairman William Varley. “We have a full programme of interesting and fun events planned and we hope to be installing the doors by the end of the year.”

Picture, by Roger Davy, shows art student Peggy Lambert adding two more buns to the Bunometer, watched by customers Mr & Mrs Thompson.

bunometer 2