Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Richard's Work Experience

From the 29th June to the 10th July Richard Bowman is doing work experience
at the Ryedale Folk Museum. On my first day I had a bit of trouble finding the way in but,
Lewis Delaney, another lad who is doing work experience here, showed me where to get in when I came in for the first time. I was a little nervous but as I had met nearly all of the staff I soon
was settled in. Lewis showed me around the different places where we
would be doing activities and other projects over my work experience fortnight.

On my first day of work experience was to get to know the museum
and the staff. I dressed as a Victorian and I assisted with a group of year 2
school children, with the Victorian wash day. Later on in the day I fed the
pigs, had a practice on how to blog so I was filming and prepared some things
for rug making.

On my second day I was ready do the activities with the
schools that were coming in for an Iron Age themed day. I did Daubing on the Iron Age round house, with three groups of primary school children from Middlesbrough I then helped to prepare a learning session for tomorrow with another group of school children.

The third day of my work experience.There are some more schools in the museum today and they all dressed up in Victorian dress, and did Victorian based activities like making butter, wash clothes and Victorian chores. When the schools had gone home and some of the visitors had left Bex had her history club in, Lewis ran it for her on ancient sport which he had researched earlier on in the week. Today was the warmest day yet and I have a feeling its going to get hotter folks.

Day four of work experience, today the museum held a Stig of the Dump day for school from Cleveland. We built a den for stig out of wattle and daub, bows and arrows, drew cave drawings on the wall of the round house.The children made their own charcoal for this. We even had our very own Stig. They all had a great time and so did I. To top the day off I cleaned the buckets from the daub. (I volunteered to do that job as well, silly me!!!)

Picture of Stig and Barney. from the TV series and book Stig of the dump

Day five started warm and just before dinner it started raining !!TORRENTIAL!! Due to that, Wendy and I who was running the crofters cottage today for a primary school had to cut it short as the cottage was semi flooded. So we went into the Manor House and spoke about the building and how it was used. When the rain water had settled in the middle of the green there was a big bump in it but someone popped it which reduced in size like a big blister. At the end of the day like most days, I did a few odd jobs around the museum. So much for the hot weat

At the end of this first week of my work experience I have gained in confidence and new knowledge. I have thoroughly enjoyed my first week and I am going to enjoy my second week as I might be changing the displays in the dry seating area and working in archives.

It's the start of another week at Ryedale folk museum and today was a bit more interesting than walking around and assisting with the schools. I was cataloging and archiving today at mid day a fellow member of staff and I put a display together ready for Thursday when we go to Malton hospital to put it up.

The second day of the second week - I was researching activities for the 'Festival of British Archaeology' so I wrote a quiz and put together a word search. Again I did some odd jobs around the museum.

On Wednesday the girls who are on a work placement and I made up a trail for the the FBA- (Festival of British Archaeology) and produced a certificate for the Kirkbymoorside Beavers. We also made a prototype tractor for the weekend.

Thursday - Helen and I prepared some objects for the TIC (Tourist Information Centre) and some objects for the enterprise day next Wednesday to go in some feel boxes for the children. After dinner Helen and I went to Malton Hospital to change the displays today - was great.

Friday, the last day of work experience today. I helped the costume dept identify all but one of the scout badges on the Boy Scout uniform. I cleared all the nettles from the chicken coop and did bits and bobs on the gardens around the museum ready for the judging.

I have really enjoyed being here at the museum and hope to come back in the summer. I have learned so many different skills from Victorian washing techniques to communication skills. I feel that I have grown in confidence and have gained friends during the process.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Lewis work experience

From the 16th of June until the 3rd July Lewis Delaney did his work experience at Ryedale Folk Museum. Along the way he has learnt a lot about the museum and history side of things. He also had an insight into the communication side of a business by taking part in meetings and talking to new faces. This is particularly important at Ryedale Folk Museum as there are many volunteers, each different every day. His confidence in tasks and answering questions has increased and he always offered support to staff and visitors alike.

This is Lewis giving a brief account about his two weeks experience here at the museum.

On my first day I nervously approached the entrance to find it was shut. I was terrified I had got the wrong time and was going to make a terrible impression on my first day. However two volunteers who were working that day saw me, and asked if I was doing my work experience. They showed me the way into the building, they were very willing and kind. I was shown around the museum, as I hadn't been before. This was very beneficial as I learnt a lot in the first half hour about the museum, things like where to go, and who works where and also about the history of the buildings and how they have been preserved.

Later on at 10.30 the school arrived and I was all set to learn a bit more about the museum and what happened during a normal day. I joined up with a group and firstly did cruck construction, the children had to make a Tudor style A-frame known as a cruck. Next we went into one of my favourite parts of the museum, which was the Crofters Cottage .This is definitely worth a visit, it really sends you back in time and makes you realise just how hard things would be for the average Tudor in England.

I followed the school around for the rest of the day and learnt about Tudor handwriting and also medicine. The key thing I learned from the day was meeting new staff and spending time with each one which really helped me settle in. After the school went I did some small but important jobs for people and I thoroughly enjoyed my first day.

On the second day I was more confident as I now knew a few people. I went to the Manor House to meet Wendy who I was helping for the day. We got set up and ready for the school who were again doing a Tudor day. In the morning Wendy and I were doing the cruck with the children, they thoroughly enjoyed it. I did too, I helped the children where they got stuck on the construction. All the teachers were very appreciative of my help which made me feel very valuable and important. I stayed with Wendy for the rest of the day and helped tidy up after the school had gone. I learnt today that there are many jobs that are time consuming but go unnoticed by people. Little things like putting wheat out and pricing things for sale in the shop.

I really settled in well in the first two days, everyone made me feel so welcome. I was meant to have a meeting with Mike and people from York University but it was cancelled. This was unfortunate, as I was really looking forward to talking to them, and understanding more about the business side of things at the museum. My third day was spent on a project which was chosen for me as I had expressed my interest in sports.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Model Village Update

Today, John, of the volunteer team was busy restoring the miniature keep, part of the collection of miniature buildings donated by Harlow Carr Gardens,Harrogate.

This weekend the museum is hosting events based around the popular story of Wind In The Willows, the play being performed live performed outdoors (depending on the weather) by the Library Theatre.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Museum Director Mike Benson giving his thoughts on the volunteer led blog training days.


Volunteer Blog Training Days

This week the museum held two days of blog training for some of the volunteers. It is a nice way for volunteers to introduce themselves and many now have the power to show the world what it is they do at the museum. This was a great few days and so far has been a success, many of the trainees' first posts can already be seen on the blog. Above are some photographs of the day with the blogging trainees hard at work. The training was for the most part a volunteer activity, with volunteers training other volunteers. The hope now is that there will be many more people contributing to this blog on behalf of Ryedale Folk Museum.

Carrie Gough

Pictures of the Museum

Random pictures on a blustery day.

Relief of Ryedale

Will, Sam and Ally's work placement experience

Our names are Will, Sam and Ally and we have made this blog to show you things we did and tell you about the variety of skills we have learnt from this experience. For example on our first week we ran the NAAFI ( A cafe for the armed forces in the WW2) which gave us great pleasure and enjoyment serving a whole variety of different people, these ranged from Australia, America, Lancashire and London. Throughout our second week we have been doing a variety of tasks, for example on Monday we cut out the materials for the rag rugs and found recipes for our day of cooking on Tuesday. On Tuesday we cooked three recipes in Stang End, oat biscuits, drop scones and leek and potato soup. On Wednesday we partly restored an old plough which was hard work. During Thursday we all separately went round with a school and helped out with their various questions and activities. Finally on Friday we learnt how to make this blog and publish our experience about the museum and what an excellent placement choice it is.

Margaret Smith, Volunteer

Margaret Smith, Volunteer

I have recently begun to volunteer at Ryedale Folk Museum, and am helping to work on cataloguing the Costume Collection. What I have found interesting is reading about the people who once owned, and wore, the costumes which have been donated to the museum. I often while away the time by imagining what their lives were like

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Round House inhabited

A blackbird has built its nest on a tup's skull , which was attached to the roof beams by members of the Museum Club.
Susan Hall

joan smith - volunteer

Cleo (my dog) and I have been volunteers here for about 10 years. I normally do chair seating, basketry and weaving, including Iron Age weaving.

Susan Hall library volunteer

Susan is one of three volunteers responsible for the library. Much of the library was donated by the founders Wilfrid Crosland, Bert Frank and Raymond Hayes.

Greetings, Admissions, General Enquiries and Sales

Volunteers usually carry out these important "Front of House" activities. They encourage visitors to make Gift Aid donations; answer enquiries about walks in the area for the N Yorkshire National Parks Authorityand encourage sales from the well stocked shop.

John, Fred & Jude

I am John Lawson, a storyteller at the museum. I have been coming to the museum for five years, telling stories about the people of Ryedale. These stories include ironstone miners, WW2 shop keepers, cruck house builders, iron age ploughmen etc.

My name is Fred Mynot, and I came to the Museum about four years ago after retiring, in order to do painting and odds and ends of repairs. After a year I arrived at the office one morning to a circle of grinning faces and the comment " Oh, Fred, you used to be an architect didn t you?" I gave a very hesitant "yes". "We're having trouble with a Planning Application, can you help?" The rest is history! After getting Planning and Building Regulation Approvals for Fat Betty's, I was persuaded to do the working drawings, specifications, tender and contract documentation. What a surprise! This led on to various other drawings for alterations, extensions and bits and pieces, some done, some being done and some in the pipeline. It's great working for a client without the bother of sending in a bill!! And thank goodness for computer aided drawing.
I also continue to do painting and other odd jobs, and some signwriting, quite badly! Working at my computer is not what I really volunteered for as I value the companionship to be found in the workshop, the pub next door, and such like. So I hope to keep going on the odds and ends for Kevin. Another Condition Survey and Report on the buildings is overdue!

After all that self-centred rubbish there is one person I would like to mention. In order to take on the tasks I was given, it was necessary for me to re-activate some of my other life in Kent. My chief assistant of many years, Trevor Leith, went to the firm who took over my business, and I had to get from him our old CAD programme for my computer. He now also prints all my drawings, with the kind agreement of the new office, and it is he who looks at them and advises me of any matters on which I am out-of-date! Its like being a student again!! Thanks to Trevor, and hopefully some of both staff and other volunteers may meet him when he comes to see some of the results!

My name is Jude Bloomfield and I have only started as a volunteer at Ryedale Folk Museum earlier this year. So far I have 'lived' in White Cottage as a villager, demonstrating making drop scones etc. I have also helped out with Victorian washdays when children can experience how washing used to be done.

MODEL VILLAGE John Nicoll. Workshop volunteer.

Originally from the West Riding of Yorkshire , I moved to Kirkbymoorside 10 years ago having taken early retirement in 1996 from Lucas Aerospace where I worked as a Production Enginner. Now part of a small team in the workshop of Ryedale Folk Museum where we undertake a large variety of tasks including agricultural machinery repairs and overhaul and general maintenance of the site and it's exhibits. I think I have now the best job ever !!

The following is our latest challenge.

The village was started in the 1950's as a garden feature at the Beckwithshaw , Harrogate home of Mr John Hayton , an agricultural engineer and took 30 years for him to complete. Built to approximately 1/12th scale it consists of 30 buildings including a church complete with pews and font , castle , terraced housing with a corner shop , windmill , public house , boat house , forge , school , village hall , water mill with working wheel , police station , garage with tearoom , hunting dog kennels , manor house and a variety of detailed farm buildings . All the buildings were built to a very high standard from local sandstone cut to a thickness of between 10 mm and 15 mm and bonded using a standard sand / cement mixture. The roofs are all individually cut Welsh slate and Oak was his timber of choice throughout . An interesting variety of materials made up his window panes.


Mr Hayton died in 1986 and the model village was kindly donated by his family to Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate where it was displayed for approximately 20 years. In 2008 the village no longer suited the plans at Harlow Carr Gardens and they approached Bekonscot Model Village in Beaconsfield. Buckinghamshire to see if they would be interested in taking ownership. On behalf of Bekonscot, two architectural heritage specialsts Tim Dunn and Stephen Levrant considered the request but felt the village would not suit Bekonscot . They then tried to find a suitable recipient and fortunately Ryedale Folk Museum were approached and at once welcomed the idea.

In November 2008 the 30 buildings arrived on a low loader truck and were unloaded in the workshop yard. What a site , what a task !! All were in serious need of restoration and some arrived in a far worse condition than they had set off in , having not travelled very well .
The first job was to give them all a thorough clean to remove all the moss and other plant life clinging to them. Volunteer Tom Walsh set about this task and after a couple of weeks we could assess their condition . This varied from a couple which needed only minor repairs to basket cases requiring completely rebuilding. Fortunately a photo survey had been conducted prior to their removal from Harlow Carr. At least we had something to work on.
Renovation and reconstruction began in December by a small team of volunteers namely Tom Walsh , Hazel and Alan Clark , John Paul and John Nicoll. We all thank Mr MF135 for his lifts and Kevin and Andrew for their careful and considerate driving of him !!.
By the start of Springtime about 16 of the buildings were completed and we started to prepare the site and were able to site all the buildings including the ones yet to repair , these could then be worked on in situ. The final layout of the site reflects as near as possible the original layout in Mr Hayton's garden . This was made possible with the help of Mr Chris Hayton the Grandson of the builder who kindly lent me some 65 original photographs , we thank Chris for his co-operation.
A picnic area and a raised viewing area are part of future plans which will turn an underused area of the museum into a great visitor attraction.
So work continues to progress at a steady pace although we would all wish for things to go a little quicker ,but we will get there.




Training Volunteers At Ryedale Folk Museum

Eleven volunteers gathered to learn how to blog today at Fat Betty's, Ryedale Folk Museum. Two volunteers and Gallery Manager Andy Dalton took the volunteers through the blogging process step-by-step.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Evacuee Stories

Part Two of Peter and Robin's Evacuee Stories

Following last weeks blog of Peter discussing his experiences as an evacuee you can now click on the player below to hear part of Robin Butler's story. Robin gives a view of what it was like to host evacuees, his family took in a pair of evacuees whom, among other things had never eaten a boiled egg!

Carrie Gough

Friday, 12 June 2009

World War 2 Fortnight

World War 2 Fortnight has been excellent, we have had loads of visitors to the museum. The re-enactors have really made a 1940's atmosphere. We have had visitors from the Royal Navy, Home Guard, British Airborne, Women's Land Army (two ladies who were in the Land Army during the war) and many more. The school parties that have come to visit us have all been dressed as evacuees and have experienced air-raids and cooking on wartime rations.

Johnny Victory on Sunday 7th June was excellent, singing to 1940's tunes. The re-enactors gave a talk on the V1 flying bomb in the Manor House, and underwent an air-raid. Luckily, everyone survived the attack and celebrated with singing classics such as;Pack Up Your Troubles, White Cliffs of Dover and Tipperary.

World War 2 Fortnight

World War 2 Fortnight has been great. I took thses photos and uploaded the video of Johnny Victory singing

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Click play to hear museum volunteer Peter Smith discussing his experiences as an evacuee.
Peter and fellow volunteer Robin Butler have given a number of talks at the museum discussing their war experiences. Robin as a member of a family who recieved evacuated children, and Peter as a London evacuee. Extracts from these talks will be appearing on the blog over the next few months so stay tuned for each installment.

Carrie Gough

Thursday, 4 June 2009

World War 2 Returns To Hutton-le-Hole

Women's Land Army 2009 represented by Ryedale Education Manager Becky aboard the Museum's 1940's Fordson.

World War 2 Fortnight is now well into the first week. Air-raids, evacuees and the Home Guard will all be present at various times. The Home Guard and more will be reenacted by the UK Homefront group, they can be found at:http://www.ukhomefront.co.uk/index.html . Over 100 reenactors will be present over the coming weekend.

Here are a few photos of the proceedings today. We have had schoolchildren dressed as evacuees and experiencing life during the Second World War. Emma, one of the Education Managers at the museum is seen here dressed authentically as a munitions worker.
The photograph above is of teacher Mr Thompson, who was wearing an excellent 1940's style suit, anyone remember Private Walker from Dad's Army?

Jim Wood in this picture is teaching schoolchildren how to make pegs for hayrakes. He even brought his vintage Triumph Motorcycle Combination.
John Lawson was in the village shop and post office for the day, teaching people about rationing and what life was like during the war, having to do without things like chocolate, which today we all take for granted.

What Does Everyone Think Of the Museum?

Hallo Everyone

Have you enjoyed a visit to the museum? Did you like looking at the blogs and/or website?

Have you visited the other museum blogs? Have a look on the right hand side of theis page and you will find the links. The main museum website is at: www.ryedalefolkmuseum.co.uk.
We would really appreciate some feedback on the museum please, there is an online survey in this post, just click on the link. If you don't want to do the survey please leave us a comment.
Thanks Very Much,


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