Thrybergh Ravenfield Dalton

South Yorkshire England

            Pronounced locally Thrybur  Old English Triberg

Webmaster John Doxey

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John Doxey's Memories
John Doxey's Memories pg 2


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Dr. Simon Ben Avi


FOREWORD by John Doxey
Stephen pictured left in his role as church organist of St Peters Church Thrybergh at the ripe old age of 15 has become one of the great success stories of the area. Despite his obvious achievements he has a typical Yorkshire modesty and also great pride in his origins. Thanks to his generous nature he has consented to write his memories and a little of his life for presentation on this site.

Showing great determination his confidence grew with each success, in short he has become an outstanding example of what someone from humble origins can achieve, a credit to his parents and most importantly to himself.  I believe that every student should read Stephens story as it shows the courage of the young 15 year old pictured left  who took on responsibility and changed his life.

John Doxey



A Sense of Accomplishment
By Stephen Purshouse


Stephen Purshouse

Stephen and Rev. Douglas Holburn at St. Peters.


I was quite determined NOT to end up "down the mine" as they used to say.  My job at the moment is as a Dean of Engineering at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, here in New York City.  The University is unique -- it is the last and only surviving tuition free school in the USA.  We have never charged, and never will.  Abraham Lincoln gave his most famous "right makes might" speech in our great hall.  The suffragette (sp?) movement started there too. I also do medical research at Lenox Hill Hospital, and have my own start-up company into internet security, so I am quite busy.  Played until recently at two churches in Harlem, but finally got tired of getting up at 6.00a.m. on Sundays.  I have my own instrument in my apartment, which shakes the building if I want it to !!

I was always involved with St. Peter’s in one way or another.  My aunt, Annie Crosley, played the piano for Sunday school there, for Mr. Kinsey, who taught the school.  It was difficult for Annie as she had mysteriously lost a finger on one hand, but she was able to belt out a hymn tune for the children.  Annie used to fill in as organist whenever Mr Cook was ill or away and it was from watching her that I decided to try to teach myself to play too. 


A couple of years later, I was playing Bach and filling in also.  When Mr. Cook decided to take up a new post nearer to his home, I asked Canon Dixon if I could take over.  He was not convinced, but agreed to try me for two weeks.  Dressed in white robes, with a black surplice, my first service had me a nervous wreck! But it went well, with relatively few errors.  I was just 15 years old. Canon Dixon was convinced by people in the congregation that I’d be OK, and I played, except for two weeks off in the summer, at every service thereafter for three years until I had to stop to go to University.

At that time I was attending Maltby Grammar School, after success on my “eleven-plus”.  I do credit that organist’s  post for my current love of music. But more than that, it gave me a sense of accomplishment and personal responsibility. In no small way, either, it changed the direction of my life; I went from being a straight “F” student to someone who scored mainly “A+” for I saw that I did have the ability to change my life and to achieve. 


Being so terribly immersed in Bach, particularly, turned on an interest in mathematics and linguistic grammars because I made all kind of connections between the music and these other disciplines.  It kindled a life long interest in languages and put down the fundamentals which drew me to engineering and computer science, an interest so strong that I couldn’t stop studying until after I had collected four degrees!

Douglas Holburn took up the post of priest at St. Peter’s under Canon Dixon shortly after I began as organist.  He was a gentle, kind man who came to us after a stretch as a Captain in the Salvation Army.  He played the accordion and was a master of achingly long beautiful cadences that pulled at your heart strings.  I think that he had made some of the same connections as I had.  From him I learned not to be rigid in rendering a piece of music – the notes, while more than a suggestion, should not be a straight-jacket.  It is alright also to make a mistake, but you have to be ready to recover and carry on rather than just stall and begin over.  He and I got through many a wedding (and many a funeral) together.  Oddly, I recall avoiding Douglas’ wonderful harmonies at funerals – they made people cry too much.

The service I loved most was the midnight communion on Christmas Eve.  It was always packed and the carols were such a pleasure.  Everyone went home tired but elated, and we got to sing the usually unsung verse that begins “Born this happy morning”, something you couldn’t do at any other time.
Douglas and I were together for about three years.  He left St. Peter’s to run his own show in a parish near Durham, and I visited him there frequently.

I remember the schools vividly.  Miss. Nelson was the headmistress when I was in the infants’ school, and I believe it was Mr. Bowmar who headed the junior school.  Those were days before Mrs. Thatcher, and we were all given milk and tiny brown cod-liver-oil-and-malt tablets.  A “lollipop lady” with a big “stop” sign on a stick would help us to cross the road at school opening and school closing time, and Miss Nelson would call us in using a huge handbell.

My father, Gordon, was the office manager for Thrybergh’s only business, a building firm called “Beedons”.  He belonged to a club called the “Three Hills Photographic Society”, as was Ernest Rigby the local chemist.  I often went with him to meetings in a room above the pub.  Thrybergh, especially the photogenic St. Leonard’s church, was well photographed by all the members.  It was a treat for me to know Mr. Rigby – I doubt that he remembers it, but I would walk to his shop and chat about developers, fixers and the like.  Any old photographs of mine are likely to have been printed by me.

My grandfather, Arthur Charles William “Bill” Barber, used to make the steel cables that were used to lower the cages into the mine.  His handy-work was seen all over the Silverwood area because old cables were also used as fencing, keeping people from wandering too far from the pathways through the woods.  His wife, Elizabeth “Lilly” Barber was famous in Thrybergh for her knitting, and neighbors from all over the village would give her a pattern and some wool and commission her to knit a garment for her.  They both fostered many children, taking two or three girls at a time, or sometimes a very young baby.


These were times of great economic depression in Thrybergh and in the north in general.  Times when ruins were left untouched. Times of gas lamps and dense, particulate fogs, when you couldn’t walk outside without a hanky over your mouth and you couldn’t see even directly across a road. There were few cars, and few televisions.  Council housing in two-up, two-down development like “the backs” were commonplace, as were outdoor toilets and gas meters, fed by shilling coins.  To get anywhere, you first had to take the number-6 trackless to Rotherham and change there.  I remember that the electrical supply to these trolleys was sometimes inadequate, causing regular “waits” at the bottom of Whinney Hill.  Passengers were stuck there until nearby vehicles had left that immediate area.

Thick black soot covered everything.  If you touched one of the brick walls that separated the “backs” houses, your hands were instantly filthy.  Coal fires were the only source of heat for most rooms of the house, and since they also heated the water, you had to have one every day.  We made toast by putting slices of bread on a long fork and holding it close to the coals.  Refrigerators were powered by gas.  “Loads” of coal were delivered by simply dumping it on the pavement outside your house.

It was the king of all instruments, the organ, which first connected me with my wife.  We were at University and met in the first few days.  I mentioned that I played, and surprisingly, she said that she loved organ music.  Naturally, I offered to play the institute’s instrument, and we went from there.  She did not want to give up her name when we married, so I changed my name to hers. 


After college, I became a lecturer at Manchester and Hull Universities before leaving the North for London U.  My wife is American, so visits to New York were regular, and I grew to like the city.  When an opportunity came up to work for the little known gem that is Cooper Union, I gladly accepted and left the UK probably for good.  My life now it is, of course, wildly different from the one I had in Thrybergh.  But my roots are evident, clearly seen. 


 I am never without a means to play music, be it a walkman or the modern mp3 player.  Until very recently I always had an organist’s post.  It is what helped me to survive monetarily as a student, and what sustains my interest in music.  Visit my apartment in Manhattan and you’ll find a church organ, a piano and a harpsichord.  Come to my office, and there’s an electronic keyboard which I play at lunchtimes over headphones.  My doctoral thesis treated the use of artificial intelligence techniques applied to languages.  As a Dean, pastoral care of students is a top priority, and I am dedicated Peter Cooper’s ideal that education should be as “free as air or water”.  All of my mathematical and engineering skills play a huge part in my medical research.

Aunt Annie would never know what she started when she asked me to turn the pages of her music. After that, things began to fall into place.

It was a lot of work.  But worth it.

© Dr Stephen Purshouse



I asked Stephen if we could publish his resume here on the site as an example as to what can be achieved, it is a very remarkable tribute to Stephen.


  The Cooper Union
51 Astor Place
New York, NY 10003
(212) 353-4289



1.   Designing, implementing and evaluating programs to facilitate the adjustment, achievement, retention, and career planning of college students in their first and ensuing years of study.
2. Counseling college students with varied personal and academic problems.
3.    Daily management of Engineering School.  Proposal writing, budget planning, and analysis.
4.    Managing personnel, faculty and staff development and evaluation.  Union negotiations.
5.    Curriculum development and revision, particularly inter-disciplinary.  ABET re-accreditation  preparation
6.    Creating strategies and managing admissions and recruitment programs.
7.    Extensive international teaching experience in a university environment.
8.    Planning and implementation of activities for cultural and personal enrichment.
9.    Active participation in major university-wide and community activities.  Member of most planning teams.
10.    Responsible for the Graduate School.  Responsible for transition to new building and for building design.



Associate Dean, School of Engineering
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering


13.    Managed all aspects of the School of Engineering including recruitment and training of staff, budgeting, scheduling work and activities, establishing policies and procedures, evaluating performance and motivation of both staff and students. Instituted new interdisciplinary degree.

14.    Developed engineering curriculum on an ongoing basis.  Evaluate current technologies to ascertain subjects that benefit the students overall education and career goals while remaining coherent with an individual’s academic program.  The Princeton Review rated the Computer Science curriculum as the number one curriculum in the country

15.    Serve as Negotiator in contract negotiations and labor relations matters for the organization.  Provide consistent, fair, and equitable decisions that promote a strong but workable relationship.

16.    Reviewed and reorganized all departments of the school including organization of student records, development of general operational policy, procurement SOP’s, laboratory design, and construction planning for a new Engineering building. 

17.    Successfully authored and secured numerous grants for needed equipment, expansion, and future curricular planning from organizations such as the National Science Foundation (many), AT&T, NYNEX, Keck, JM Foundation, and Howard Hughes.

20.    Taught subject coursework including:  Digital Logic Design, Data Structures, Databases, Introductory Programming, Advanced Computer Programming and Large Systems Design, Computer Communications, Artificial Intelligence, Image Processing, Theoretical Computer Science, Compilers, Computer Architecture, Advanced Computer Architecture, Psychology of Computer Programming, Bio-sensing, Biometric Signals and Processing, Parallel Programming, Anatomy and Physiology, laboratory and independent projects.


1990 - Present

Biomedical Engineering Consultant


21.    Designed, tested and implemented new “mini gait lab” using a treadmill and infra-red marker filming system for gait testing to replace costly laboratories with operators and walkways.  Replaced $500,000 labor intensive laboratory with $10,000 facility.

22.    Advise on the application of new and existing technologies into the research that would improve medical treatment and result in a more effective rehabilitation.


1979 - 1986


Lecturer in Computer Science


1973 - 1978

Permanent Research and Computing Advisor
Teaching Assistant


23.    Managed the dormitories at the University of Manchester, the University of London and the University of Hull.  This involved selecting students, day-to day management of the buildings, pastoral care of students and conflict resolution.  Counseling.  Discipline, protection of the fabric of the building.


Stephen Purshouse Consulting
1982 - 1992


Consultancies with AT&T'S BELL LABORATORIES, ACCESS TECHNOLOGY LTD., ENHANCED TECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATES, AND THORN/EMI GROUP on projects such as Digital Electronics and Computer Engineering, early Remote patient monitoring systems, Data compression of real-time signals and Development of Expert Systems to diagnose faults in electronic circuits.




The New York Institute of Technology, as needed since 1986.  Fairfield University, Connecticut, and NYU, New York.




Ph.D., Computer Science, The Queen Victoria University of Manchester

    Thesis in Artificial Intelligence
M.Sc., Digital Electronics and Computer Engineering, The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology


BSEE, The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology

Member, British Computer Society. (MBCS)
Chartered Engineer, U.K. (U.S. equivalent is P.E.)
Founding Member, The Society for Urology and Engineering.  (SUE)
Member, Association for Computing Machinery (MACM)
Senior Member, Institution of Electrical Engineers, (S.M.I.E.E.E.)

Able to Travel and/or Relocate




1. "Underutilized Technology in Medicine",
Paper presented to the first annual meeting of the Society for Urology and Engineering, The Hilton, NYC, May 16th 1986,  (Co-founder of this society)
2. "Practicing for the GRE in Computer Science",
 (Prentice Hall, 1988).  ISBN 0-13-363565-1
3. “Ultrasound based Kinematic Analysis of Human Ambulation”,
Transactions of the 2nd combined meeting of the orthopedic research societies of U.S.A., Japan, Canada and Europe, San Diego, California, November 1995.
4. “The Leg Spring Constant in Hopping in Men and Women”,
A.C.S.M 46th annual Meeting, 1999.
5.  “The relative stress on the Achilles tendon during ambulation in an ankle immobilizer: Implications for rehabilitation following Achilles tendon repair”
British Journal of Sports Medicine 35:329-334, 2001
6. “Reconstruction of the coraco-clavicular Ligaments Using Tendon Grafts: A Comparative Biomechanical Study”.
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 2002.
7. “Is Full Weight-bearing Safe Following Achilles Tendon Repair?”,
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons 68th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, Feb 28-Mar 4, 2001.
8. “Quadriceps Activation Following Transcutaneous Magnetic Stimulation of the Femoral Nerve”. 
Orthopedic Research Society 47th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, Feb 25-28, 2001.
9.  “Achilles Tendon Rupture: Biomechanical properties of various suture repair techniques in a cadaveric model”. 
American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, June 2001.
10.“A Novel Device for the Assessment of Balance in the Elderly”.
Transactions of the 47th Annual Meeting of the Orthopedic Research Society, Dallas, TX, Feb 10-13, 2002
11.  “Biceps tendonosis: a biomechanical comparison of three fixation techniques”.
Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida, June 2002.
12.  “The relative stress on the Achilles tendon during ambulation in an ankle imobiliser: implications for rehabilitation after Achilles tendon repair.”
Br. Journal of Sports Medicine 2001; 35:329-334
13.  “Reconstruction of the Coraco-clavicular Ligaments Using Tendon Grafts. A Comparative Biomechanical Study”.
American Journal of Sports Medicine.
14. “Magnetic nerve stimulation for neurapraxia in a runner following ankle surgery”.
American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, St. Louis, Missouri, May 28-June 1, 2002.
15. “Epitendinous suture augmentation in Achilles tendon repair”.
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons 70th Annual Meeting. New Orleans LA, Feb 5-9 2003.
16.  “Transcutaneous magnetic stimulation of the quadriceps via the femoral nerve.” 
Muscle and Nerve, September 2004, 30 (3):379-381.
17.  “Reconstruction of the coracoclavicular ligaments with tendon grafts: a comparative bio-mechanical study”.
American Journal of Sports Medicine,  September-October 2003.  31 (5): 648-655.
18.  “Cyclic loading of Achilles Tendon Repars: Simulating early Forces”,
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, June 29th -July 2nd, Pennsylvania
19.  “Cyclical Loading of Coracoclavicular Ligament Reconstructions.” 
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, June 29th -July 2nd, Pennsylvania.




Yuk Li. "A Study of Speech Characteristics as Applied to Phoneme Extrapolation",     1985.
R. H. Weiner. "A Fast User-Friendly Device-Independent Compositional Na modelling and Animation System",     1987.
A. Kallis.  "A Multi-Processing Operating System for the HD 64180-based Multi-Processor",     1987.
D. Prountzos.  "The Development and Implementation of a Micro-Processor Based Data Compression System"
Mayer Illovitz.  "A Visuo-Motor based Micro-computer controlled neuromuscular Testing System",    
Nenad Melinkovic.  "A Formal Software Verification Tool: The Formal Software Verifier, (FSV)",    
Joe Lee.  "Energy Analysis of the Lower Limb Segments During Walking",     1988.
Jeff Farah. "A Computer Controlled System for the Stimulation of the Vestibular Organ System and Central Nervous System through Auditory Stimuli",     1988.
J. W. Burns.  "A Multiple Frame Acquisition System for use in Motion Analysis",     1990.
M. B. Meiner.  "The PC Composer - A Music Workstation",     1990.
Jim C Gower.  "MIDAS: Musical Instrument Digitizer and Synthesizer",     1990.
Stuart E Kirtman.  "Real Time Audio Signal Processing using Floating Point Transputers",     1990.
Andrew Rosenblum.  "Natural Language Interfaces and Knowledge Based Systems",     1991.
Brian Novie.  "Voice Recognition using a Clustering Algorithm",     1992.
Brocha Epstein.  "Experiments in Parallel Processing",     1992.
Rami Levy.  "Kinematic Gait Pattern Analysis using Three-Dimensional Infrared and Ultrasonic Tracking",
Robert Baruch.  "A Token Ring Multi-processor Network”,     1992.
Aaron Hager.  "Gait Analysis - pattern matching and comparative analysis."     1993.
Jeff Hakner.  "A distributed operating system."     1993.
Ian J Kremenic.  "The wavelet analysis of bioelectric signals."     1994.
Yashodhan C Risbud.  "An investigation into the effects of rhythm on muscle activity during
repetitive motor activities."     1994.
Leonard Mastrototaro, "The visualization of ultra-sonic data."     1995.
Wai Man Alan Yue, "Voice communications during modem data transfers."     1995.
Wai Man Chung, “Simultaneous transmission of data and voice over analog telephone lines”     1997.
Eric Sommer. “Assessment of disabled persons for the provision of special computer assisted devices”     1998.
Simon Choi Lok, “An investigation of parallel databases using Parallel Virtual Machines”,     1998.
Olli Seppalla, “Recording and analysis of human movement and simultaneous EMG”.    1998.
Ionut Micou, “Multidirectional Electrical Wheelchair Controller Design using signals from the shoulder”
Mayer Crystal, “An Investigation into Parallel Distributed Computing using Java”    1999.
Frank Jania, “The production of visualization software to facilitate analysis of ground reaction force and vector data as applied to the study of human mechanics”.    1999.
Steven Block.  “The Electronic Stethoscope.”    2000.


© Dr Stephen Purshouse


A sincere thanks to Stephen for sharing his life here on this site.




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I have no affiliation  with any Trade Union, Political body, or organization regarding the information on this site. All information on this site is Factual and correct to the extent of my knowledge. There is no intent to cause offence to any individual. Should you spot an error please let me know  and that error will be corrected.


This site is the result of over 7 years research, and compilation, should you wish to use any of the content for publication of literature please contact me. The poetry and life of James Ross, the story of St. Leonard's Cross, and other items on this site were compiled, and first published on this site in their present context as a study of Thrybergh. If you use this site as a source, out of courtesy, please give credit where it is due as I have done on this site where appropriate.
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