(First published in 1985 in volume 2, p. 82, of the third series of The Bradford Antiquary, the journal of the Bradford Historical and Antiquarian Society.)
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Village to Mill Town
George Sheeran. (Bradford Libraries, 1984). £1
George Sheeran's book on Shipley maintains the high standard of Bradford Libraries' publications: it is well written and attractively presented.
Mr Sheeran has not been content, like some of us, to make use of second-hand information. His quotations are from original sources, but they fall naturally into the text and the explanations which go along with them are lucid and informative. The old families of Shipley are set neatly in context, with accounts of their lineage, standing, houses and business interests. I particularly like the simple definitions of those things which sometimes trouble us: the degrees in society - gentry, yeomen, husbandmen; the different kinds of coal mine and those often confused terms, woollen and worsted. The book is well illustrated and the maps and diagrams are a great help, especially the inset, 'In Search of Shipley'.
This is a practical book. It can be used as a guide by those who want to explore the nooks and crannies, and I imagine it will be very useful in schools. By giving such a concise account of this particular period George Sheeran has filled a real need, and whether old or young, there is something for all to learn.
© 1985, J.F. and The Bradford Antiquary