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More hidden history at the Dales Countryside Museum

[Thursday 25 October 2007]
YDNPA Hidden History
Photo: Porl Medlock

A SPECIAL free-of-charge exhibition, which explores the untold stories of Black and Asian people in the Yorkshire Dales, has returned to the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes for the second time this year.

Following a successful summer tour across North and West Yorkshire, the exhibition "Hidden History of the Dales, People and Places waiting to be discovered" which also features vibrant costumes made by Hughbon Condor for the Huddersfield and Leeds Carnival, was re-opened on 11 October by Professor Tim Thornton, a member of board of Museums, Libraries and Archives Yorkshire.

The exhibition has been timed to coincide with Black History Month, which is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Act abolishing the British trade in enslaved Africans and it will run until 15 November 2007.

Local children from The Wensleydale School at Leyburn celebrated the exhibition's return by performing some short sketches with Leeds actor and writer Joe Williams, who dressed in costume as Olaudah Equiano - an enslaved African who bought his freedom and as a writer joined the British abolition movement in the 18th century.

So far the exhibition has generated a great deal of interest both within the Yorkshire Dales and beyond, striking a chord with many family history enthusiasts.

Museum Manager Fiona Rosher said: "With so many Yorkshire people employed in the transatlantic slave trade and in the plantation economies which it supported in the 17th and18th centuries, this area's economy grew enormously,"

"A number of Black Africans settled in the Dales and across Yorkshire as a result of the trade and this exhibition highlights those often-overlooked links between this area, the Caribbean and Africa. In fact one of the really exciting aspects of this exhibition has been the way it has acted as a catalyst for people from within and outside the area to find out more about their own ancestry and their links with the British trade in enslaved Africans."

  • Photo shows: Pupils from The Wensleydale School in Leyburn amongst Hughbon Condor's carnival costumes at the Hidden History exhibition opening at the Dales Countryside Museum.

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