Author of more than 50 books, David Joy has written extensively on many aspects of the Yorkshire Dales.
His family has lived in Upper Wharfedale for more than four centuries and he is fully able to capture the unique magic of
the area and its people. Special interests are the heyday of lead mining,
its many fascinating railways and the sheer variety of its trees and woodland.
A former editor of The Dalesman, David Joy has served on the Yorkshire Dales National Park Committee. For almost 40 years he was local secretary of CPRE (Campaign for the Protection of Rural England) and ceaselessly strove to safeguard the finest features of the Dales.
He has always believed that conservationists and farmers need to be on the same side. Otherwise, a way of life that has endured in the Dales for more than a thousand years will be lost and the area will become a combination of theme park and wilderness.
A true Dalesman, David Joy has been awarded the MBE for ‘services to the environment’.
The huge increase of interest in ancestry, shown in such TV programs as Who do you think you are? is reflected in several of David Joy’s books.
Recent titles such as Mostly Joy and Men of Lead range far more widely than just the Joy family and are devised to help readers trace their roots
in many parts of the Dales. This is especially the case with farming families and those whose ancestors were miners in Swaledale.
They include those brought from Cornwall and Staffordshire by the Duke of Devonshire to develop his mining interests on Grassington Moor. Details of sources are given for those undertaking similar research.
Designated a National Park almost 70 years ago, the Yorkshire Dales is an area of breath-taking beauty and wonderful people.
A description by J.B. Priestley has never been bettered: ‘It is a land of sheer delight with its potent mix of rolling fells,
deep valleys, swirling rivers and limestone scars, all bound together by a rich tapestry of dry stone walls linking farm and village, moor-top and hamlet.’
The Yorkshire Dales is the name of the region and it has numerous individual dales, each one completely different. Of the major valleys, Swaledale is narrow and steep-sided, Wensleydale broad and wooded, and Wharfedale long and winding.
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A truly absorbing account of David Joy’s farming ancestors and his life in the Dales. Penned as a continuous narrative,
it will appeal to all with a kindred love of the Wharfedale countryside in times past and present.
It also fulfils a need for family historians and especially those scattered far and wide with Joy ancestors.
Putting people before things, it is a highly readable story of feuds and failure, strife and success.
Mostly Joy begins at one of the most remote of all farmhouses in the Dales on wild moorland high above Hebden in Upper Wharfedale. Here Joy farmers eked a living for almost two centuries before their better land was lost under the first Grimwith Reservoir. Forced to move down to Garnshaw Farm, nearer Grassington, there was a bitter dispute between three brothers that led to all possessions being auctioned. Other members of the family escaped hardship in the Dales by keeping cows in the middle of Liverpool!
Paperback, 108 pages, 82 photographs. Published in a limited edition of 100 copies. £17.50
Miners gave their all in an age when lead was hard to find, dangerous to extract and yet capable of producing wealth beyond their wildest imagination. The mineral they sought may have been grey rather than glistening gold, but that mattered little in the pursuit of an elusive dream.
This much-needed book is a portrayal of miners rather than mining. It looks at a fascinating range of individuals from rich aristocrats to men who
only ventured underground because they were utterly poverty-stricken. Their homes, health, religion and occasional leisure receive full coverage,
as does the role of women and children. Emphasis is given to key mining communities – most villages in Swaledale as well as Greenhow,
Grassington and Hebden in Upper Wharfedale.
A ‘people index’ of some 200 names associated with lead mining makes this book especially valuable to those researching their family ancestry. Out-of-print for several years, it has been reprinted in a limited edition in response to growing demand.
Paperback, 128 pages, 70 illustrations. £17.50
A superbly illustrated large-format book that will delight both local dales people and the many visitors to this magnificent countryside.
The many varied themes include:
‘A beautiful book in every sense, reflecting a lifetime’s experience of someone who is part of the land
and the communities he describes. From the pen of a born writer, it is also highly readable, at times
even poetic, with much personal detail.’ – Yorkshire Dales Review
Hardback, 160 pages, 172 photographs. £19.95
A book that is both informative and richly illustrated, capturing how railways serving the Dales have changed from the 1950s
through to the present day. Coverage includes the legendary Settle to Carlisle railway, as well
as many other lines ranging from forgotten branches in Nidderdale and Wensleydale through to electrified
routes carrying commuters into the heart of Leeds. Also featured are the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway as well as the
Wensleydale Railway serving both Bedale and Leyburn.
A collaboration with Gavin Morrison, one of Britain’s most experienced railway photographers, who has gained the highest reputation for the quality of his work. His images capture how lines to the Dales have come to play a key part in an age of leisure with virtually all surviving routes offering their best-ever services.
Overall, this is a nostalgic and evocative depiction of railways in a glorious corner of what has become known as ‘God’s Own County’.
Hardback, 128 pages, over 150 photographs. £19.95
There are hundreds of books on trees and woodland but this is the first one to set the subject in the context of the Yorkshire Dales.
This is an area of striking contrasts: open, exposed sweeping fells and expansive views above deep, sheltered valleys.
Trees and woodlands are a scarce but important part of the unique character of this protected landscape.
Many individual trees have stood for hundreds of years and are a living link to times past.
This book looks at such issues as the lack of broadleaved woodland in the Dales and the problems caused by ash dieback. The main chapter focuses on 21 of the area’s best-known species and there is also a detailed portrayal of six very different woods. Complementing the text is a superb selection of photographs, many of which could be taken nowhere else.
Published in association with the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.
Paperback, 144 pages, 132 photographs £17.50
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