My name is Hannah and I am a Masters student at the University of York. Over the past few months I have been working with Malton Museum on the ‘Malton Memories’ project, a Heritage Lottery funded oral history project which aims to show Malton and Norton through the eyes of those who know it best; the local community.
Since 2016 when the project was initially set up, volunteers from Malton Museum have been working both with members of the local community and visiting tourists in order to gather fascinating insights into Malton and the surrounding area in times gone by. Volunteers from the museum have also worked with Racing Welfare and Slingsby Local History Group, in order to gather as many varied memories as possible. Through this work, we have managed to gather a bank of oral histories and written testimonies which will be included within the display in the museum.
Taking advantage of the fantastic memories we have gathered, I have been working to create a publication which collate a selection of the memories and forms part of the ‘Malton Memories’ exhibition in the Museum. It has been incredible to be given the chance to work so closely with the museum, having been involved in a variety of activities, including setting up a pop-up exhibition which we held in the library to try and improve the visibility of the project within the local community. This proved to be a brilliant opportunity to engage with a variety of people and was an enjoyable few hours which gave us the chance to hear lots of unique and personal stories. I love working with people, so it has been lovely to chat to locals about their memories; one that will stick with me is that of a gentleman who kindly sat and chatted with us, telling us how he used to be the self-proclaimed ‘cab mascot’ for his dad when delivering animal feed to local farms as a little boy. Local farmers would provide cakes and a cuppa for them on their travels and the evening meal was a chocolate bar and a can of pop!
Not knowing the local area very well beforehand, it has been really rewarding to learn about the history of Malton and Norton, particularly through the form of oral history. I find it is always much more interesting to hear about the local area from those who have experienced the town and its many changes, providing a much more personal perspective on the area. ‘Malton Memories’ has been a brilliant project to be involved with and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the museum, it has provided invaluable experience for me and I am extremely grateful to all involved. In my future career I would love to be able to work in a role which involves public engagement and the visitor experience, so working on this project with Malton has been a fantastic opportunity and really good fun!
The project is still ongoing, so please do get in touch with the museum if you feel you have any memories you could contribute! There is also a box in Malton library where you can drop off your written memories if you prefer.
The publication I have produced to sit alongside the project is available to view both in the exhibition gallery, and in digital form on the link below: