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A masterpiece celebrated: Life and Tradition at 50

Joan Ingilby (seated) with Marie Hartley in their work room
Credit: Marie Hartley Archive, YAHS/ms1803, University of Leeds Special Collections. Copyright estate of Marie Hartley.
Joan Ingilby (seated) with Marie Hartley  in their work room

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Bainbridge, 3 April, 2018

A new exhibition at the Dales Countryside Museum (DCM) in Hawes celebrates a book which “just in the nick of time” recorded the traditional ways of life in the Yorkshire Dales.

Marie Hartley and Joan Ingilby’s groundbreaking work, Life and Tradition in the Yorkshire Dales, was published 50 years ago – and the exhibition reveals how it was researched and written.

On display are photographs and objects from the DCM collection, as well as items from the Marie Hartley archive brought from Leeds University Special Collections.

The exhibition is part of a wider project involving a programme of walks, talks demonstrations and workshops, and the re-issuing of the book by the Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society.  It will run until Tuesday 3 July.

“For those of us who work to conserve and interpret the cultural heritage of the Dales, Life and Tradition is our bible,” said DCM manager, Fiona Rosher.

“Its 50th anniversary deserves celebrating because the book is a unique chronicle of a centuries-old way of life which has now disappeared.  As Marie Hartley and Joan Ingilby wrote, they carried out their research ‘just and only just in the nick of time’.  

“Marie and Joan founded DCM, and many of the artefacts held here at the museum are illustrated or described within the book.  We would like to use the 50th anniversary of its publication to inspire people to start engaging actively with their local heritage – and recording what they find out.”

Life and Tradition in the Yorkshire Dales covers topics such as dairy work, farm buildings and implements, sheep, peat-cutting, hay-making, thatching and sport and games.   Tools and objects used in these activities are on display, alongside the photographs the authors took of local people at work.

Notes:

  1. The DCM is housed in the former Hawes railway station in Wensleydale, in the north of the National Park.  More information is available at www.dalescountrysidemuseum.org.uk. Stay up to date with what’s happening by following DCM on Twitter and Facebook.
  2. The museum is owned and managed by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. Its collection was started in the 1940s by Marie Hartley, Ella Pontefract and Joan Ingilby and is the most comprehensive in the country relating to Dales heritage. It ranges from prehistoric to modern day objects.
  3. It is open daily between 10am and 5pm from February to October and between 10am and 4.30pm in November and December. Entry charges (which include the exhibition) are £4.80 for adults and £4.30 for concessions and groups of 10 people or more, while children visit free. An annual pass is £9.

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