Mr. David Tippey - a tribute

This unique and remarkable website was originally the work of David Tippey, whose knowledge of Malhamdale local history was unrivalled and his expertise in many other areas together with a great deal of hard work brought it to fruition. His interests were wide and apart from local history included genealogy, computing and software, website design, photography and publishing.

David Tippey (left) in the public bar with two landlords of the Victoria Pub

As an artist he specialised in wood carving, especially of birds and producing small cast bronzes, two examples of which form part of the gates of Kirkby Malham and Coniston Cold parish churches. As a journalist and photographer he wrote articles and reviews for many wood working and family history magazines. As an author he wrote books on woodcarving and genealogy as well as revising and editing a guide to Kirkby Malham Church and as a teacher he presented adult education courses on local history, genealogy and wood carving.

The fish cast in bronze forming part of the gates to Kirkby Malham Church

He was born on 7th May 1951 in Harrogate, North Yorkshire and as a boy spent his spare time exploring the woods of the Crimple Valley near his home where he took a keen interest in the natural world in general and in the Yorkshire Dales in particular. Apparently, when David’s collections, including his fossils threatened to take over the family home, his joiner father built him a shed in the garden to house it all and provided a place where he could pursue his hobbies undisturbed. On leaving school he chose to study photography at Kitson College in Leeds and after graduating joined his brothers in developing an electronics business manufacturing printed circuit boards. The business thrived and became so successful that by the early 1980s it was employing more than 120 people, however some of the pleasure in running a small firm was not there anymore and they sold out to a larger electronics company, leaving David free to choose another career path.

Angela and David at an exhibition at Rutland Water in 1995

In 1984, David and his wife Angela decided to buy the Victoria pub in Kirkby Malham, a locals pub if ever there was one, which they ran for five years and during which time they converted the outbuildings across the lane into a cottage and studio/workshop.

Meeting many local people through the pub and being regailed with stories by the locals, sparked his interest in local and family history and in a related way his interest in computers. They moved in to ‘Victoria Lodge’ in 1988 having sold the pub.

For the next decade it was woodcarving, the teaching of it and writing about it, which preoccupied him most, but his interest in local history and genealogy led him to take courses at Lancaster University and by the end of the 1990s was delivering courses himself.

Work on the website began in the early 2000s and was first uploaded on to the web in 2003. From then on the development of it and the associated research became his main preoccupation. He died on 20th November 2011 after several years of living with cancer which he did with courage and good humour never ceasing to work on his many projects not least

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