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"I hired a white woman called Tracey. When Tracey is in the cafe she does well and people will come in and it will be full, once I stay in the background.

Ossett was, for a brief period in the 19th century, a spa town.[8] Having been founded by a local stonemason who was inspired by Harrogate and Cheltenham, the waters were popular with those seeking relief from certain skin diseases in the early 19th century, but it remained a small spa during this period. In the 1870s, a plan to transform Ossett into a "second Harrogate" ended in failure, and the spa closed as a result. The south-east of the town is still known as "Ossett Spa".

"There are some very nice people in Ossett and they've been very very nice to me."

"RT @RatBrewery: Please see here for info on the much-anticipated release of our Grapes of Rat bottles" @ossettbrewery

It is quite some time since we last got together for an Annual General Meeting and a lot of things have happened since then.  It is over three years ago since we became a Community Interest Company and our primary objective at that tim... (read more)

In June 2009, the Association of Train Operating Companies proposed Ossett, as one of seven English towns with a strong business case for the location of a new railway station. It is likely that an unmanned station would be erected at Healey Mills.[21]

"Students genuinely feel that they have the environment to seek support and seek help wherever it’s required."

"A real strength here is the breadth of opportunities and experiences that we offer to students."

She said: "I put [the sign] there because of the way people treat me in Ossett.

The Yorkshire and the Humber branch of the Disability Sports Federation has its headquarters on the Longlands Industrial Estate in the town.

The South African astronomer Cyril V. Jackson, who was born in Ossett,in 1903, honoured the town when he named asteroid 1244 Deira. The citation he submitted to the IAU was meant to represent the ancient name of Ossett. However, that is something of an exaggeration: the ancient Kingdom of Deira actually encompassed (at its height) most of modern Yorkshire. Jackson emigrated to South Africa in 1911 with his family.

Ossett is home to two real ale breweries. Ossett Brewery, located in Healey[16][17] and Bob's Brewing Company, formerly the Red Lion Brewery.[18]

Figures for ethnicity from the 2011 Census show that of Ossett's population of 16,116, 97.5% (15,724) were recorded as white.

Ossett derives from the Anglo Saxon and is either "the fold of a man named Osla" or " a fold frequented by blackbirds".[3] Ossett is sometimes misspelled as "Osset". In Ellis' On Early English Pronunciation, one of the founding works of British linguistics, the incorrect spelling is used.[4] The British Library has an online dialect study that uses the spelling.[5]

If you are doing family or local history research, Anguline Research Archives are based in Ossett and have a catalogue of almost 500 CDs of old and rare family and local history books.

"But if Tracey is not working and I'm working nobody comes in."

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The single mother-of-three has run the cafe for two years, serving a mixture of British, African and Caribbean food.

Labour councillor Tony Richardson, who represents Ossett on Wakefield Council, said he was "utterly appalled" when he saw the sign.

Ms Kolleh said the reaction to the sign, which adds that the cafe serves "quality wholesome meals", had been mixed.

The following extract is from "The Town and Trade of Ossett" published in 1927:

"I am absolutely certain there is not a problem in Ossett. I have met thousands of people in Ossett and they are wonderful people, very diverse," he said.

Ossett has some of the lowest crime rates in West Yorkshire.[15]

Visit us at Kings Yard, Low Mill Road, in Ossett. View Map.

Gawthorpe hosts the annual World Coal-Carrying Championships[29] (Easter Monday) and an annual Maypole parade in May. Ossett Gala takes place in July. The turning on of the Christmas lights is another focal point for the community, along with the fire station's bonfire on the Friday evening nearest to 5 November. The Ossett Beer Festival takes place annually at the Brewers' Pride pub, Healey Road, Ossett over the August bank holiday weekend.

Mr Richardson stressed that he believed most people in the town would support Ms Kolleh.

"Some people find it amusing, they were laughing and said 'oh yes it's about time you put that up', so I think they all realise what's going on here," she said.

On behalf of students, staff and governors, I am delighted to be able to welcome you to Ossett Academy and Sixth Form College.

The sign on the door of Yeanon Cafe in Ossett, West Yorkshire, reads: "I am a black woman... If you are allergic to black people, don't come in."

Working alongside our primary partners as a member of the Education Ossett Community Trust (EOCT), we also strive to provide world-class opportunities for the community of Ossett, supporting young people aged 3 to 18 to develop a lifelong passion for learning, across a range of experiences.

St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church was built in 1878. The Salvation Army is the only church in Gawthorpe. The Salvation Army building also acts as a community centre providing dinners for senior citizens & two parent & toddler groups. There is also a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses on Ventnor Way, and a spiritualist church in the town centre.

Ossett Trinity, the local rugby league club, resigned from the Rugby League Conference in 2006. Ossett Cricket Club also play at Dimplewells. The Heavy Woollen District has its own cricket association and its own cricket team. Residents of Ossett are eligible to play for the Heavy Woollen District team.


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In the Second World War, Ossett was accidentally bombed on 16 September 1940.[6] Ten High Explosive bombs were dropped. No one was killed, save for a number of chickens and several properties were damaged.[7] A V-1's engine was reportedly heard to cut out, and came down at Grange Moor, to the west of the town.[citation needed]

Ms Kolleh told BBC Radio Leeds a lot of people in Ossett had supported her, but if business did not improve she would have to close by autumn.

Ossett Community Centre Tickets  £10 Available from Julie Thompson 01924 216522   Includes: 1940’s Entertainment by Karen Clegg  + A Raffle Karen... (read more)

"It has shocked me very much," he said. "I have spent 20 years as a trade unionist and fought against this sort of attitude and I certainly won't put up with it in Ossett.

He said he hoped to meet Ms Kolleh to give her his "full support and offer her anything she needs from me".

Local councillor Tony Richardson said he was "shocked" as he did not believe racism was widespread in the town.