The Ripley region owes its growth to the area's natural resources of coal, iron, oil and clay. The world-renowned Butterley Company ran a vast engineering, iron-making and mining empire that was centred here. So many industries were located in the area that, at the start of the twentieth century, it had taken on an industrial character as outlying villages expanded and new towns were built. The contribution that Ripley and the district has made to the economy of Britain through time is colossal, but the late twentieth century saw the closure of the pits and iron foundries and the traditional industries fell into disuse. The industrial landscape has gone but Ripley believes in preservation, and has retained a lot of its past to this day, which can be appreciated in Ripley & The Golden Valley Through Time.
A trained photo-journalist, Jill is freelance writer in Derbyshire and a well-known author. She has written close to twenty local history books over the past seven years, three of which being previously published Amberley titles: Paranormal Derbyshire (November, 2010), Haunted Pubs, Inns & Hotels of Derbyshire (June, 2011) and Alfreton Through Time (October, 2011). She has her own collection of old photographs of the area, with contacts to others, which she builds upon in her spare time.