The Answer was in the Water
I note from my records it is 13 yrs since Mr Brian Holmans (formally of Cranbrook), made contact re that which the majority in God's Own Country feel their own. On Ilkla Moor Baht t'at. Since then I've been trying to find a way of putting the history of Thomas Clark's hymn tune to a wider Public. A suggestion from a friend makes me wonder why never thought of it before.
He and his partner have lived for over fifteen years at White Wells, Ilkley's ancient Spaw Baths, on Ilkley Moor. Were it not for White Wells there would not have been a Heather Spa for chapel choirs to visit on their annual picnics. Nor the song written to the hymn tune we seek credit for.
Mark suggested putting something up at the Bath House. He and I are now working on an idea and I am sure it will be of interest to all here in Ilkley, Cranbrook and the world at large. I am financing the project myself, however should others wish to contribute I will be happy to accept that which is offered. A minimum of £300 would provide a basic plaque but this is Yorkshire and Ilkley Moor where we do things in a style befitting the occasion.
It is interesting to note this is not the first time Ilkley has connections with Thomas Clark. He chose hymns by The Rev Dr Robert Collyer for some of his publications. Collyer started life in Ilkley as a blacksmith, becoming a lay preacher, crossing to the New World and taking to preaching there. He became one of America’s respected preachers and authors of the late 19th to early 20th century.
It is my intention to have a brass plaque (see enclosed photocopy) placed at White Wells on the 13th May 2016 at the 40th Anniversary of White Wells re-opening to the Public. What better place to recognise Cranbrook and Thomas Clark's place in putting Ilkley on the world map. While everyone knows the words are from the Land of the Free without Clark's music they are nought. Yorkshire folk are noted for calling a spade a spade and this Yorkshire lad means business.