The Ripon Museum Trust is celebrating its 40th year by getting the community involved in its latest exhibition.

Museum officials asked Ripon residents, volunteers and trustees to choose their favourite exhibit, building or space within the museums and write an exhibition label for it.

The 40 objects chosen are all being displayed across the Liberty Courthouse, Prison and Police Museum and Workhouse Museum, with visitors given an exhibition leaflet trail to follow. 

Since the Ripon Museum Trust was formed in 1982, it has expanded to cover three museums with a small team of paid staff, more than 100 volunteers and 30,000 visitors per year.

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The museums have a combined 9,000 exhibits and Trust chairman Richard Taylor said: “I wonder if those who set the museum trust going 40-years-ago could have foreseen just how far it has since come.

"Certainly, there was only the one museum back then, no paid staff and little more than the enthusiasm of a small band of volunteers to get it all going.

"We are a bigger organisation today but that commitment to all work together for a common aim is as strong as ever.

"I’ve seen the museums grow over the 30-plus years that I’ve been in Ripon and am proud that they are now an established part of the life of the city.

"May they flourish even more in the next 40-years.”

Helen Thornton, museum director at the Trust added: “Our Anniversary year is really significant for the Trust.

"We are so pleased to see visitors and schools returning after the Covid lockdowns and funding has been secured for future developments.

"Celebrating 40 years as a Museum Trust is the crowning glory."

Laura Allan, community curator, said it had been 'a privilege' to work with both individuals and community groups to out together the celebratory exhibition.

She added: "It has been fascinating to see some of the selections, especially the lesser known items, and hearing people's personal thoughts and feelings has shown a real insight into the emotional response visitors have to our themes and stories.”

The 40 objects exhibition is open until November 27 with visitors able to follow the Exhibition Leaflet Trail and walk in the footsteps of past generations.

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