When Alf Wight (James Herriot) penned his first book, ‘If Only They Could Talk’ published in 1971, little did he realise what a continuing success his stories would be. White Rose Book Café in Thirsk is testament to that success. It’s place where you can purchase the All Creatures Great and Small story books that are so fondly loved by millions of people around the world, where you can wait a while, relax and absorb the atmosphere, enjoy coffee or tea and cake and other meals as you read your chosen titles.
Founded by Sue Lake and her late Father Steve Clements in 1995, the year before Alf Wight sadly passed away, and soon afterwards Sue’s sister Caroline joined the team. The town of Thirsk was made famous by James Herriot and the White Rose Book Café has been selling his books since it began. Now, Channel 5 TV series’ The Yorkshire Vet and the remake of All Creatures Great and Small has created renewed interest in all things Herriot. James Herriot’s books are still very popular and there are copies of more recent titles by the two Yorkshire Vets, Julian Norton and Peter Wright (Peter worked with James Herriot).
A warm Yorkshire welcome will greet you when you enter the store and you’ll have a fabulous choice from the café menu for a light lunch or a coffee catch up, and all of the staff are Barista trained. With a wide choice of books, gift, toys and cards, there are comfy sofa’s, an outdoor Tea Garden (weather permitting) and families are very welcome especially in the upstairs story room area. A children’s menu is served in the cafe and there are highchairs and baby-changing facilities for tiny-tots.