Queen's Award success for North Yorkshire's secret gem

Success - Olwen Perrett, chair of the Nidderdale Museum, and Anna Donnelly, secretary, with volunteers. (1706052AM1)
Success - Olwen Perrett, chair of the Nidderdale Museum, and Anna Donnelly, secretary, with volunteers. (1706052AM1)

Volunteers at one of Pateley Bridge's prize jewels are to receive the recognition their fantastic efforts deserve with the Queen's Award.

The community-run Nidderdale Museum won this highly prestigious award in the volunteering category against considerable competition.

Success like this comes to only a select few organisations each year and is an honour not only for the museum on King Street but for Pateley Bridge.

Anna Donnelly, Nidderdale Museum's secretary, said everyone involved with the museum was over the moon at their success.

She said: "We are delighted to win the Queen's Award For Volunteering. The Pateley Bridge Town Council put us forward for this award.

"When the two Deputy Lord Lieutenants came to the Museum and spent time interviewing some of the volunteers they were impressed with our commitment, enthusiasm and professionalism in keeping the Museum open."

Housed in a former workhouse in premises provided by Harrogate Borough Council, the Nidderdale Museum was first founded in 1975 by a group of enthusiasts who shared a deep concern for the traditional way of life which they felt was rapidly disappearing after the Second World War.

After being put forward for the Queen's Award by Pateley Bridge Town Council, there was quiet excitement when the Deputy Lord Lieutenants of North Yorkshire came to the museum and spent time interviewing some of the volunteers about their work.

Dedicated to telling the stories of local people, and rural life, throughout the years, the museum attracts approximately 7000 visitors every year.

In total, the museum has 11 rooms which illustrate the rural life of Nidderdale, including an original cobbler's shop, school room, and Victorian parlour.

Volunteers regularly collect and exhibit historical and educational artefacts for the benefit of the public.

An essential part of the success of the museum is the work of The Nidderdale Museum Society, which has 200 members, an elected committee and a board of trustees.