Sneak a peek at old diaries

West Yorkshire Archive Service is celebrating local history month and is displaying fascinating diaries at its regional offices.

The diaries of Herman Van Dyk (1901-1939) reveal the life of the Austrian musician, who settled in Halifax and faced suspicion during the First World War.

On May 22, 1912 he wrote: “The orchestra has subscribed to the Titanic Musicians’ Fund to the amount of £1/11, which I have sent today.”

An entry for May 11, from the diary of James Leach, a Keighley watchman, says: “James Wright, wandering up and down the streets in his nakedness, put in the lock-up. Committed to 14 days in Wakefield house of correction.”

The archive service said its diaries gave a snapshot into how people lived, their adventures and tragedies.

Graham Hebblethwaite, chief officer of the service, said: “We are delighted to take part in Local History Month and to showcase the diaries in our care.

“The service holds diaries written by people from all walks of life and they are a wonderful resource for anyone interested in how people lived in West Yorkshire in times past.”

The Calderdale regional office of the service is based at Halifax Central Library.