Th'Owd Syker was born Rowland Denis Kippax in 1902 in Briercliffe, where his ancestors have lived for the last 300 years. He was the eldest of five children of James and Martha Kippax. In his early years he worked in the mill, and during the 2nd World War he was a Regimental Sergeant Major serving in Egypt and Italy.
After the war he became a bookmaker on several dog and horse racing tracks, and then opened his own string of betting offices around East Lancashire.
On retirement he took up writing dialect poetry and articles for the Burnley Express. Mostly they were about the Briercliffe/Harle Syke area and its characters, of which he was certainly one.
He died in 1988 after his first wife Maggie and their only child, Kenneth William.
Thanks to Gloria for providing these articles and the information about Th'Owd Syker.