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Hidden History exhibition returns home

[Friday 05 October 2007]

A SPECIAL exhibition highlighting the history of Black and Asian people in the Yorkshire Dales is returning to the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes after a summer tour.

The Hidden History of the Dales, People & Places waiting to be discovered originally opened at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority-owned Museum in April and was an immediate success with local history groups, schools and visitors.

It also explains how many Yorkshire abolitionists other than Wilberforce tried to end

Fiona Rosher - Museum manager

Since then it has been touring venues around North and West Yorkshire, gathering even more information along the way.

The exhibition will be reopened by Professor Tim Thornton, a member of the board of MLA Yorkshire, the regional agency responsible for promoting access to Museums, Libraries and Archives. Leeds actor Joe Williams will also be performing short sketches linked to the exhibition with children from The Wensleydale School at Leyburn

Museum manager Fiona Rosher said: "The exhibition will open again on 11 October and will feature archive material never seen before that describes the involvement of the Dales and Yorkshire in the British trade in enslaved Africans.

"It shows how many Yorkshire people in various capacities were employed in the trade and in the plantation economies which it supported and it highlights how, financially, the area benefited enormously from it.

"It also explains how many Yorkshire abolitionists other than Wilberforce tried to end it and, perhaps most surprising, how, from the 17th century onwards, a number of Africans settled in the Dales and Yorkshire because of it.

"Exhibitions about British Black History are rare and, in North Yorkshire, rarer still, so it is an excellent opportunity to discover the links between people and places in the Dales, the Caribbean and Africa."

Carnival costume from the Huddersfield and Leeds Carnival will also add a vibrant, colourful and telling element to the exhibition, which runs until 15 November.

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