Dave Joy's talk on 'Liverpool Cowkeepers - A Family History' last March was one of our best attended and most appreciated events of recent years. Now, Dave has published his researches in book form, complete with photographs illustrating the premises occupied by his ancestors in Wavertree, Garston and elsewhere. Also included are memorabilia of the family and its dairy business from their 19th century origins in Wharfedale to the 1980s in Wellington Street, Garston. In the book's 128 pages, Dave tells the story of how Yorkshire farmers became Liverpool cowkeepers, while retaining their links with their home area. They encouraged relatives and friends to move to the city, as more and more purpose-built 'cowhouses' were created within the new streets of terraced houses.

The Joy Brothers occupied premises in Ash Grove, Wavertree, in the 1880s, but by 1901 had moved to 362 Smithdown Road. They won numerous prizes at local shows - such as the Royal Lancashire Agricultural Society's 1905 show held in Heathfield Road - and were members of the Liverpool Cowkeepers Association which kept the community together by organising social events. For much of the 20th century the family business was located in Garston, and the book explains how the two world wars and economic change impacted on the Joy family and other similar businesses in the Garston area. By the 1950s they were dairymen rather than cowkeepers, and Dave's own childhood memories vividly bring to life the years prior to the big national dairy companies taking over.

Dave Joy's book, entitled 'Liverpool Cowkeepers', is published by Amberley Press (ISBN 978-1-4456-8322-7), price £12.99. Another newly-published book is 'Fields of Discovery: On the trail of Liverpool's cowhouses' by Duncan Scott (DWS Publications, ISBN 978-0-9565344-2-2) which tells the same story from a different perspective. Dr Scott's book is based on the experience of the Wilson, Capstick and Harper families, amongst others, who moved to Liverpool from the Sedbergh/Howgill area and who 'left their mark' in various ways which the author encourages his readers to explore.

Duncan Scott is a geographer and social historian, and this is reflected in the format and language of his book. It is very much a 'researcher's guide' to the subject, rather than a family memoir. Again, some of his examples - such as the former Harper's Dairy off Rose Lane - will be of particular interest to Wavertree Society members. The 100-page book is profusely illustrated with maps (not just of Liverpool and Howgill, but also the settlement of Capstick in Nova Scotia) and colour photographs which relate in some way or other to the story. It is available direct from the author - email - price £10 inc P&P.

You can buy Dave Joy's book (right) from Amazon UK

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