The Thirlways were a prominent family in Ripon and had a printing business in the Market Place. My interest? A Thirlway married a Smithson. Rashaad Thirlway who wrote the foreward of this book is my cousin. The Thirlway Journal is required reading for anyone interested in Ripon or just Victorian life.
How did the life of the small businessman in Ripon 150 years ago compare with today’s equivalent? H.S.T. left a fascinating 10 year record of his life in the city, in a clear but tiny copperplate in a collection of small notebooks. At the start of his tale the railway had yet to arrive in Ripon, although he made good use of it during its early years. An open millrace still ran the length of Water Skellgate, being the only serious source of power in the city – a far cry from satellite communication, the new town bypass and the power sources of today.
A family man, he was deeply involved in the local civil administration, his church, and a wide range of interests, and he comments on all of these and other aspects of the city’s life. In these extracts, edited with great skill by Jean Denton, anyone with any connection with the city of Ripon will find something of interest. Ripon Historical Society are to be congratulated on sponsoring this publication. Should you wish for more – the original journals are now in the County Record Office at Northallerton – but take a magnifying glass – his writing whilst beautifully legible is incredibly minute.
Rashaad Henry Thirlway