THE RYBURNE-VALLEY ALMANACK by Pete Coe
It may be of interest to the editor & Go Local advertisers & subscribers that there was an earlier magazine in the late C19th which provided a similar advertising outlet for local businesses with the addition of articles local & national. This publication was ‘The Ryburne-Valley Almanack’ which declared itself as ‘a register of local and general information’.
First published in 1867 I was given editions for 1871, 1880, 1886, 1887 and 1889 by one of the Holroyd family when we bought the house & hardware store (formerly ‘Holroyd’s Furnishing Warehouse’) at 103 Oldham Road Ripponden in 1986, now the headquarters of Ryburn 3 step.
The Almanacks provide a fascinating record of a thriving local business scene showing how busy Ripponden was during this period no doubt due to employment in so many mills in the valley. The 1871 edition was compiled and published by F.Nichol, book seller and stationer at Ryburne Terrace and includes advertisements by…
Thomas Whiteley, watchmaker and jeweller.
James Hopkinson, boot and shoemaker.
Thomas Lambert, family chemist, teas, coffees, spices.
James Lawton, ironmonger and mill furnisher.
F.Nichol, petroleum, oil, new designs in lamps.
Thomas Cocker, pianos, harmoniums, American organs, violins, sheet music.
J.Holroyd, cabinet maker, upholsterer, joiner…workshop near Ripponden Church.
Being an almanac the magazine also included important calendar dates, religious festival dates, the moon’s changes and a selection of moral tales and advice and cures for a variety of ailments. There was also ‘A Chronicle Of Local Occurrences’ which notes…
26 March 1868 Lee’s Mill Kebroyd burned down.
18 May 1722 great flood in Ripponden
26 June 1865 Ryburne Valley Railroad bill passed the House Of Lords.
1 December 1832 Ripponden Co-operative Society established
By 1880 the publisher and printer was W.H.Stansfield at the Britannia works and included a diary section, and several articles ‘Proposed New Railway To Bradford and Manchester’, ‘The Geology Of The Ryburne Valley’ and details of Ripponden Naturalist Society, Ripponden Constitutional Association and Ripponden Liberal Association.
The advertisements in this addition were wider ranging, not always local, and also included some short stories like ‘The Frozen Ship’ and ‘A Struggle With A Tiger’.
By 1886 advertisements included some from further afield like Ellis’s Patent Boot Studs (Birmingham) and Hargraves Tobacco Manufactory (Manchester) but locals would be much relieved to know that Richardson’s Magno-Galvanic Batteries (nearly all diseases cured by these batteries) were available from Robert Moores, Ripponden, sole agent for the district.
In 1887 Thomas Cocker was still selling musical instruments from Central Hall, Ripponden but had a rival in Sowerby Bridge where H& S Barraclough was selling concertinas, flutinas and accordions in addition to pianos and harmoniums. If you wanted your photograph taken (with or without your new concertina) you’d need to visit D.Smith, 8, Wharf Street where Cabinet Portraits were offered at 10 shillings per dozen.
The 1889 magazine included articles about health, monthly gardening hints and ‘How To Succeed In Music’, advice which would have helped me fifty years ago! Touring musicians needed the services of Oates, saddler and harness maker, Hollins Lane Bottom, Ripponden and you could buy The Victor English Lever Watch price £3.3.0 from F. Sladen, Watchmaker, next door to the Post Office, Sowerby Bridge. Established in 1842 were painters & decorators Robert Moores, Vale Terrace, Ripponden who was also an insurance agent, dealer in paints, oils, varnishes, paperhangings, gold mouldings and pure cod liver oil.
As you might imagine, many of these business advertisements feature quirky illustrations and a liberal selection of font styles reflecting the variety of local trades.
We have selected twenty of these and reprinted them on high quality paper as greetings cards.
To see smaller versions of the selection available contact me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone 01422 822569 and we can send you the sample sheet as a pdf.