Ripon Museums Trust celebrates 40 years

Ripon Museum Trust is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a special exhibition created by the community to run across its three museums.

By Janet Harrison
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 9:18 am
Ripon Museums Trust Community Curator Dr Laura Allan at The Workhouse Museum, holding the orginal Application & Report Book for the Workhouse. Picture James Hardisty
Ripon Museums Trust Community Curator Dr Laura Allan at The Workhouse Museum, holding the orginal Application & Report Book for the Workhouse. Picture James Hardisty

Current and former volunteers, trustees, individuals, and community groups were all asked to choose their favourite object, photo, document, building or space within the Liberty Courthouse, Prison & Police Museum and Workhouse museums and write an exhibition label for it. Laura Allan, Community Curator at Ripon Museum Trust said: “It has been a privilege to work with both individuals and community groups on the curation of this exhibition.

“It has been fascinating to see some of the selections, especially the lesser known items, and hearing people’s personal thoughts and feelings has shown a real insight into the emotional response visitors have to our themes and stories.”

Ripon Museum Trust was formed in 1982 with one museum and a small group of volunteers and the Trust now runs three successful museums in the heart of the city with a small team of paid staff, over 100 volunteers and 30,000 visitors per year.

Volunteer Pam Easterby, working in the Work House Museum. Picture James Hardisty.

The museums and a collection of 9,000 objects explore historical stories and themes which have the power to inspire people today.

Richard Taylor, Chair of Ripon Museum Trust said: “I wonder if those who set the museum trust going 40 years ago could have foreseen just how far it has since come.

“Certainly, there was only the one museum back then, no paid staff and little more than the enthusiasm of a small band of volunteers to get it all going.

“We are a bigger organisation today but that commitment to all work together for a common aim is as strong as ever.

“I’ve seen the museums grow over the 30 plus years that I’ve been in Ripon and am proud that they are now an established part of the life of the city.

“May they flourish even more in the next forty years.”

Helen Thornton, Museum Director at Ripon Museum Trust said: “Celebrating 40 years as a Museum Trust is the crowning glory!

“It’s an achievement our whole community can be proud of. I have only been the Trust’s Director for three years, but I am really honoured to be here at such an exciting moment in our history.”

The exhibition is open until November 27.