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Crest of Sir Thomas Storey

Copyright © 2007

This page was last updated on
Sunday, 3 February 2008
by Brad Storey


"Mr. Story represented the Association in the Central Council for over 18 years. He was a member of the College Youths, Yorkshire, Norwich Diocesan, and Midland Counties' Association, and had rung peals with all these bodies. He had rung over two hundred peals in a great many towers and a great variety of methods, including London, Cambridge and Superlative Surprise, Treble Twelve, Royal and Major, Stedman Cinques, Caters and Triples, Double Norwich and Double Oxford Major, Duffield, Woodbine, and many peals of Surprise Minor. He had conducted but few of these, about six or eight in all, but had made a close study of theory proof and composition. He was equally at home at either end of a peal from treble to tenor, and his excellence as a striker was well-known throughout the country. His influence and untiring energy did much to elevate the 'locus standi' of ringers in the north, and the personality of Robert Spencer Story will live in their memory and hearts for many years to come."

The Ringing World also pays a tribute to the distinguished campanologist in editorial notes.

Sir Thomas Storey was born at Bardsea, near Ulverston, on Tuesday, the 25th October, 1825. He was the third son of Mr. Isaac Storey, by his wife Phoebe, née Patrickson, of Millom, in the County of Cumberland. In the year 1835, Mr. Isaac Storey and his family removed to Lancaster where Thomas entered a mill as a bookkeeper. On the 4th June, 1841, his father died at the age of 43, leaving behind him a family of nine sons and daughters. This threw much responsibility on Thomas, who was now the eldest boy at home, his two older brothers being engaged elsewhere. His work was close, his hours being from 5-30 a.m. to 7 p.m. He began by earning 2s. 6d. a week, and at the age of twenty was only getting 7s. a week, with an extra eighteenpence and supper two or three nights a week by helping a tradesman with his accounts. Later on Thomas joined his elder brother in land-surveying in Oxfordshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and North Wales. In 1845 he returned to Lancaster and obtained employment on what was called the Little North-Western Railway which ran from Morecambe to Skipton, and now forms part of the Midland system. Mr. Edmund Sharpe, contractor of the line from Morecambe to Lancaster, chose Thomas out of the office to be his private secretary, and later on he was appointed commercial manager of the line. He also worked for some time, in conjunction with the late Edmund Sharpe, the Phoenix Foundry, and among other work they cast shells for the Government during the Crimean War.

In 1851 Thomas Storey joined his elder brother William, who bad recently started the manufacture of table baize and oilcloth on his own account in Lancaster, at St. George's Quay, in the building now used for the Parish Church School. In 1856, the White Cross Mills, Lancaster, were bought, then consisting of only two buildings. The firm had adapted the premises to the new work when in 1861 a serious fire occurred, the old mill being nearly burned down. This catastrophe seemed only to stimulate the energies of the brothers, who soon retrieved their position, and prospered amazingly. In 1861 they bought from the late Mr. John Greg of Escowbeck, Caton, the Moor Lane Cotton Mills, and in 1864 from the same gentleman, the mill at Caton. This was done with the object of making themselves