The name of the side reflects its close links with the town of Otley in West Yorkshire, where most of the side live and where our weekly practices are held. The “Wharfedale” part of the name not only refers to the beautiful Dale in which Otley lies, but also is a reference to Otley’s industrial past. In the 19th century Otley produced one of the most famous printing presses, the “Wharfedale Press”.
The other part of the side name refers to a printer’s festival, a “Wayzgoose”, a celebration which has been traced back to the seventeenth century. The annual festival was celebrated on St. Bartholomew’s eve, 24th August when the master printer would supply a feast for his printers. In later years the feast was replaced by an outing, either to the coast or a large picnic in the countryside where good food and good ale were enjoyed in great quantity.
So put it all together and you get a side that is very proud of living and dancing in Otley. The side has had a lot of support over the years from the Town Council, local landlords – especially at the Manor House, the Bowling Green, Bay Horse and the Junction), local churches and other local groups. We have provided workshops for youth groups, supported good causes and been constant promoters of the wonders of Otley on our many trips throughout England.