Friday, 24 October 2014

Autumn at Ryedale Folk Museum

A walk around Ryedale Folk Museum showing the beautiful colours of Autumn.

Puss the Cat earns her keep and supplements her diet with a craftily caught mouse!


Halloween Party October 31st 2014

Ryedale Folk Museum are holding their annual Halloween Party on October 31st 2014.

Why not have a look at last year's photos? You can find them here: http://ryedalefolkmuseum.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/halloween-2013.html
Experience the museum at night with our family fun Halloween evening party 6-8pm. There will be pumpkin carving and fancy dress competitions, children’s crafts, themed food, apple bobbing & more!
For more information or to book please call the museum on 01751 417367 or email emma@ryedalefolkmuseum.co.uk

Jonathan S

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Ryedale Folk Museum Tractor & Engine Day 2014

Here a re a few photos from Tractor & Engine Day 2014. which was held on Sunday 13th July.
Thanks go to Museum Director Jennifer Smith for these.


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Barnevelder Pullets

Last week we had an escapee pullet from the museum's flock of chickens. It was a Barnevelder , a breed originating in Holland. They lay a lovely brown egg and are great for showing or for a backyard hen.(See Your Chickens, http://www.yourchickens.co.uk/directory/hens-a-z/barnevelder_1_761063. Hopefully Richard and I made the pen hen proof...

Barnevelder Pullets

Barnevelder adult chickens

Friday, 11 July 2014

Cornfield & Vegetable Garden

Today at the museum the sun was shining and the cornfield and vegetable garden looked great. I am sure you won't see a cornfield this colourful anywhere else in Yorkshire. JS
Cornfield Flowers look lovely but where's the wheat?

Vegetable Garden potatoes looking very tidy.

Onion bed.


An abundance of herbs.

Model Village

I found a few photos from last month, the Model Village needs constant upkeep just like real size houses. I did the strimming and cresosoted all woodwork,Jane Thompson & pupils from Ryedale School were a good help. Jonathan S
Ryedale School working on model village

Busy creosoting the model barn

Thursday, 10 July 2014

2014 Tractor & Engine Day This Sunday 13th July

One of our most exciting events, the Ryedale Folk Museum Tractor & Engine Day is not to be missed. Dozens of tractors of all types, stationary engines and other vehicles will be present and also drive round the village. I hope you enjoy looking at this video and photographs of previous tractor days.

The above video was filmed in 2009,photos from 2009 & 2010

Ryedale Folk Museum - Tractor and Engine Day blog from Tony O'Reilly - The Atom Film Co on Vimeo.

Please click on the above link to watch an excellent video from 2011 Tractor Day.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Anyone Want To Learn To Be A Blacksmith?

Has anybody got the yearning to learn blacksmithing? Ryedale Folk Museum is running a blacksmithing course this Saturday 12th July 2014, ring the museum for further details 01751 417367.
In the meantime enjoy this video of our resident blacksmith Robin Butler making a Celtic brooch.

Jonathan Severs

Sunday, 6 July 2014

From World War 2 Searchlight To Fairground Attraction

Portable Miniature Carousel

Richard Bowman making adjustments to running gear
 Just found these photos I took ages ago of the miniature carousel which was in the workshop in May. It was originally a searchlight used in the Second World War and was donated to the museum after it's conversion.

Jonathan S

Monday, 5 May 2014

Celebrating our Volunteers!

Volunteers are at the heart of the museum, they started the museum in 1964 and continue to contribute to our special character today! So we thought how nice it would be to share with you the areas in which they support the museum, and to say a BIG thank you to each and every one of them!

Front of House, where it all begins!

“The museum’s volunteers provide a vital contribution from working with school children to providing office support among many other tasks. I am in constant admiration of their spirit and enthusiasm.”

– Tony Clark (Trustee)

The Office

“Our office volunteers provide a vital behind the scenes contribution to the running of the museum. From writing letters to answering the telephone, we are grateful for their often unseen involvement."
- Helen Dean (staff member)

Fat Betty’s

“Our cafe volunteers always provide service with a smile, helping us to be Yorkshire’s friendliest museum.”
 – Maureen Wass (staff member)

The Blacksmith

“Robin has been volunteering here since 1967. Sharing generously his time and his skills he has inspired several young people to take up blacksmithing as a profession. Robin also talks to school groups about his excavation experience and recently has helped university students to learn about local dialect words and phrases!”  
– Richard Strickland (Trustee)

Chit Chat in the Buildings

“Volunteers bring our various buildings to life by chatting with our visitors. Many are extremely knowledgeable and share their own memories and experiences. They help to make people’s visits enjoyable and memorable.”

-       Richard Bowman (Staff member)

Craft Demonstrators

“We have many talented volunteers who are skilled and passionate in their crafts, seeing them encourage younger generations in heritage crafts through hands on demonstrations is so rewarding for both them and us.”
 – Wendy Greenwood (Staff member)


“Our volunteers entice visitors into White Cottage with yummy smells and things to taste from biscuit decorating with children to baking fruit pies, bread and yummy delicious ginger scones! They are never short of staff to test their work!”
– Wendy Simms (Staff member)

Displays and Developing

“Volunteers have been involved in the museum since the very beginning 50 years ago! They helped moved whole buildings brick by brick and today they continue to help with new displays and projects. Their input is always valued and it is their ideas and input that helps the museum develop year on year.”

– Hugh O’Loughlin (Trustee)

“From the world war two re-enactors group to Cleveland Fibre Arts, our events wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for our volunteers! Bee keepers to rope makers, rustic weavers to wood demonstrators, the list is endless of the experts and groups that get involved and volunteer their time to make our annual programme so diverse!”

– Emma McKenzie (Staff member)

Rescue and Renovation

“Our model village is the perfect example of the kind of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers we have. Here the volunteers lovingly revived and painstakingly restored the remnants of the village to something that is enjoyed by all”  
– George Winn-Darley (Trustee)

The Costume Ladies

“The volunteers have catalogued the entire costume collection and have created some wonderful displays throughout the museum. This year they’re creating a brand-new costume exhibition based on women’s trades. It opens in July and I can’t wait to see it!
 – Louise Mudd (Trustee)


“Volunteers help the Learning Team to deliver a wide variety of activities to visiting school groups. They don't have regular hours but are asked to help whenever groups are booked in. From living in the Iron Age, building Tudor cruck frames and playing the part of a Victorian washerwoman - there's always something to keep them busy!”

– Emma Colclough (Staff member)

Geoffrey Willey, our oldest volunteer

“Geoffrey is one of those characters, once met never forgotten! He has been involved with the museum nearly since the beginning and at the grand old age of 102 is our oldest volunteer. Geoffrey took many photos of the museum’s development giving us our own fantastic photographic record.”

– Tony Clark (Trustee)

Library, Archive & Collections

“Volunteers assist in cataloguing every item that is donated to the museum from books and sundries to objects and photographs. Without their help I would not be able to keep progress going on the huge task of logging over 40,000 objects that can be found in our collections.”

– Helen Mason (Staff member)

Outside Groups & Community Involvement

“Each year other organisations support the work of the museum and we derive some wonderful benefits from those relationships. We’ve worked with many groups and are always open to hearing new suggestions about people to work with.”

– Jennifer Smith (Museum Director)

Green Fingered Gardeners

“There are numerous gardens throughout the museum covering different periods, from our Victorian White Cottage garden to the Medieval Garth at Crofters. Our green fingered volunteers make sure these are looking lovely and bright and contribute greatly to the overall jolly feel of the grounds, as well as our great track-record in the Yorkshire in Bloom awards.”
– David Ireland (Trustee)


“Our workshop volunteers help us keep the site maintained and looking great! Their input is invaluable for creating that Ryedale Folk Museum charm. From making Merrills boards for the shop, painting and sign writing to creating amazing displays like this new archaeology exhibition.”

– Kevin Simms (Museum Manager)

Monday, 28 April 2014

Guest Blog from Tom Normandale, Project Officer of the Cornfield Flowers Project

 Flowers Project

Cornfield Flowers Project at Ryedale Folk Museum - saving rare arable flowers from extinction in North-east Yorkshire

As spring takes hold and the natural world awakes from its winter slumber, the first signs of some of the UK’s rarest wildflowers are eagerly awaited in a corner of the Ryedale Folk Museum.
In front of the roundhouse is the Cornfield Flowers Project demonstration field.  For much of the year, this is bare earth with little to hint at the value of the seeds that lie beneath.  By summer time though, this field will be a blast of colourful plants growing amongst a cereal crop, and provides an accessible display of some of the most endangered arable wildflowers in North Yorkshire and the UK.

Demonstration field in full bloom at Ryedale Folk Museum

The museum has supported our Project since its beginnings, and has been our public face throughout this time – raising awareness of the plight of arable wildflowers and providing a rare opportunity to see these declining plants in both the demonstration field and our nursery bed next to the vegetable garden.

The hard facts behind the plight of these cornfield flowers are stark.  Of the UK’s rarest wildflowers that have suffered the greatest declines in the last 50 years, 60% are arable plants.  Seven have become extinct during this period, and a further 54 are considered at risk.  Since its creation in 1999, our Project has had the single aim of reversing this decline in north-east Yorkshire.  Through a network of dedicated volunteers and local farmers, we have been able to gradually locate, nurture and reintroduce many of these plants across the area, and 15-years on the results are more encouraging than ever.

The real stars of the show are the plants themselves, and within the museum you will find a wide array of rare specialists.  From the bright-yellow flowers of Corn buttercup (Ranunculus arvensis) and the needle-like seed pods of Shepherd’s-needle (Scandix pecten-veneris) – two of the UK’s most endangered plants - to the endearing but fleeting Prickly poppy (Papaver argemone), the match-head sized blooms of Sharp-leaved fluellen (Kickxia elatine) and of course the iconic Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus), all these, and many others, can be seen first-hand.

Corn buttercup (Ranunculus arvensis)

Shepherd's-needle (Scandix pecten-veneris) seed pods

Prickly poppy (Papaver argemone)

Sharp-leaved fluellen (Kickxia elatine)

Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)

We can never afford to be complacent though, and sadly the survival of cornfield flowers perpetually hangs in the balance.  As we look to the longer term future of these species, and our Project’s presence at the Ryedale Folk Museum, our hope is that we can continue to enthuse enough people to successfully care for these sometimes under-appreciated, but always deeply enchanting, true rarities.

For more information on the Cornfield Flowers Project see our rolling presentation in the museum entrance, our information panels by the nursery bed and demonstration field, or our website:

Chris Wilson – Project Officer                                        Tom Normandale – Project Officer
Cornfield Flowers Project                                               Cornfield Flowers Project
01723 863467                                                               

The Cornfield Flowers Project is spearheaded by the Carstairs Countryside Trust, Ryedale Folk Museum, North Yorkshire Moors Association and North York Moors National Park Authority.  It is supported by the North York Moors National Park Sustainable Development Fund, North York Moors Coast & Hills LEADER Programme and the Heritage Lottery Fund.