Keighley Old Contemptibles' Association Standard
We'd heard this standard in it's glass case had been removed from the wall at Keighley Shared Church and was being stored under a sheet. We managed to get permission to take it to Keighley Drill Hall in order to have it installed there in pride of place along with other standards in similar glass cases. However, the future of the Drill Hall looked in doubt at the time with the withdrawal of the Territorial Army from Keighley and we moved the standard to the Civic Centre for safe keeping.
Our Director Ian Walkden successfully negotiated funding from Keighley Town Council to have the standard conserved and an expert in textile conservation from Cliffe Castle declared that the standard was fit to be put on display but needed some work to mount it properly in its case. For example, it was held up in the case by four rather rusty drawing pins, which were damaging the cloth.
We displayed the standard in August 2014 when we commemorated in Keighley, the centenary of the start of the Great War. We read out the names of the Old Contemptibles who had returned home and been members of the association in Keighley and several relatives of these men came along to see them honoured in this way.
We also paraded the standard in Keighley in the Remembrance Day parade and it was given lead position in the parade. The standard was carried with great pride and honour by Army veteran Peter Karkoszka. After this parade the standard went to the conservator for the work to be carried out on it.
The work included lining the case with a special mounting board with backing cloth and support sheet to mount the standard properly and it was hand sewn in place very carefully followed by each tassel being individually sewn in position.
The final part of the story of Keighley's Old Contemptibles' Association standard was the discussion with the church who agreed to have it mounted high up on the wall. Several veterans got involved in helping to move the standard and it was mounted on a purpose built support shelf, with spacers holding the back of the case away from the wall surface to reduce the transfer of moisture from the wall. The spotlights were then moved to illuminate this important piece of our heritage in hopefully it's final resting place. and we hope it's still there in a hundred years time.