Campaigners Make an Impact in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

Inspired Men: The founders of Ryedale Folk Museum, North Yorkshire

Collecting everyday objects!

Ryedale Folk Museum began as a collection of ordinary artefacts which tell the story of how people lived in the Yorkshire Dales from medieval to Victorian times. Today there are thousands of objects in the museums, including cooking pots, costumes, farm machinery, buildings and even a blacksmith's forge.

The museum (first opened in 1964) has a long tradition of rescuing and preserving Ryedale's heritage, thanks to three particularly inspiring men: Wilfred Crosland, Bertram Frank and Raymond Hayes. All three lived in the village of Hutton-le-Hole, the museum's picturesque location, Noticing the loss of old buildings, objects and traditions from across the Ryedale region, they decided to do something about it! 


Wilfred Crosland (1876 - 1961)

Wilfred lived in the cottage that now forms the museum's main office and gift shop. A local historian and antiquary, he came up with the idea of a Ryedale museum. After his death in 1961 his sisters, Helen and Minnie, asked Bert Frank to take over his museum room.


Bertram Frank (1919 - 1996)

Though first developing a small museum of his own in nearby Lastingham, Bert was thrilled to move to the larger room in Hutton-le-Hole. Within just a few years the museum was thriving and along with a gang of volunteers, Bert had started rescuing and reconstructing old buildings.


Raymond Hayes (1909 - 2000)

Raymond spent most of his life in Hutton-le-Hole, working in his father’s old photographic studio and as the village postman. With an interest in archaeology, he worked hard to support the museum.


Without Wilfred, Bert and Raymond actively preserving Ryedale’s heritage by collecting everyday items of interest, many of the objects and buildings you see today would not have survived. Their enthusiasm, spirit and work created the museum’s shape and character.

Discussion ideas:

  • Which three objects that you use every day would you choose to preserve in a museum and why?
  • Why might Wilfred, Bert and Raymond have thought it was important to remember how people lived in the past?
  • Think about ways in which life has changed for ordinary people in the past 100 years. What objects could you pick out to represent these changes, (eg. a typewriter, as we now use computers or a telegram, as we can now use text messages)? 

If you would like to learn more about the museum’s campaign to save Ryedale’s heritage, please contact the Learning Team on 01751 417367 or

Map link: Ryedale Folk Museum in the North Yorkshire village of Hutton-le-Hole»

Document icon Learning article provided by: Hull Maritime Museum |  Wilberforce House, Hull |  Dales Countryside Museum |  North Yorkshire County Record Office |  Campaign! Make an Impact |  The Peace Museum |  North Lincolnshire Museum | 
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