New book goes behind scenes of Nidderdale Museum

NAPB 1410272AM Joanne Moody's Book. Picture : Adrian Murray. (1410272AM)

NAPB 1410272AM Joanne Moody's Book. Picture : Adrian Murray. (1410272AM)

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A new book celebrating 40 years of the Nidderdale Museum, by tracing the history of forty of its objects, has been released this week.

From an old curling stone to a constable’s truncheon, the author Joanna Moody, has chosen from over thirty thousand items in the museum’s collection to chart the history of the dale.

Traces of Nidderdale in 40 years and 40 Objects: Stories of the Museum reviews leisure, education, health and the local community objects at the museum.

The book also gives an insight into the creation of the Museum and includes tales from the stewards, school groups and visitors who are part of its present life.

Although the book is not a complete history of Nidderdale, nor a full portrait of the upper dale and valley, it does reveal traces of lives of the residents as recorded in the Museum.

Joanna also aims to show how the dale and its Museum have benefited from the coming together of the many kinds of people who have settled there over the years.

In the book’s foreword, Anna Donnelly, Secretary of the Nidderdale Museum Society said readers will discover the museum is ‘more than a collection of static displays’.

She said: “This book celebrates the achievements and commitment of all the Museum’s volunteers and donors.

“For the past 40 years they have willingly joined together to preserve Nidderdale’s rich and varied heritage, not only in the past and present but for all time.”

The Nidderdale Museum was 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.

More than 8,000 visitors a year, including various parties and school groups, visit the museum and it is a major resource for studies in local genealogy.

The book also features a plan of the museum which indicates the different rooms where the objects can be found.

In Part II of the book, Joanna explains the story of the Nidderdale Museum Society including publications from the society.

Eileen Burgess, a founder member, also gives her detailed picture of the early days at the museum in ‘The Making of a Museum’ and how volunteers established an institution that has ‘developed and grown beyond all expectations’.

The hardback book is available from the Museum and, for details, contact 01423 711225 or email info@nidderdalemuseum.com