Archive Exhibition 2011

Review of Carleton Village Archive Exhibition 2011

 Another successful Carleton Village Archive Exhibition Weekend took place on Saturday and Sunday, 2nd and 3rd July, 2011. The event was opened by Julian Smith MP who thanked all those involved in putting on a very professional Exhibition. He had time to look round all the venues and sample some refreshments during the time he spent with us. 241 people came from far and wide to visit the Exhibition which, this year, was held in four venues in Carleton: St Mary’s Church, Carleton Primary School, the Village Hall and Carleton Post Office. A number of volunteers joined the Carleton Archive Team and the Carleton History Group, to help with all the preparations and put up displays in a range of categories and we are very grateful to all of them.

St Mary’s Church:

“Carleton in Uniform” in the Church benefited from responses to an article in the Craven Herald recently and resulted in a lot of interest in the display. There was a dedicated Family Tree Research area in the Lady Chapel, alongside which displays of Carleton families could be viewed. A second chance was provided to see the Carleton Residents’ Wedding Day photos which had been arranged originally to mark the Royal Wedding in April, and photos from the Archive provided a glimpse back at the History of St Mary’s. Refreshments, on sale in aid of Church funds, were much enjoyed and provided an opportunity for distant relatives to sit and catch up on family news!

Carleton Primary School

In the School Hall the focus was on Pantomimes in Carleton Village from the 1930’s – the present day. Speakers Rosamund Mitchell and John Claxton delivered interesting talks on Village Panto days past and present and reminded us of the people responsible for keeping the tradition alive. Recent Panto cast photos, and some from early, theatrical productions that we hold in the Archive, were on view. We were able to display a fascinating, complete collection of the Panto programmes dating from 1997, thanks to Alan Brown, and a number of beautiful costumes were on display which were much admired. A DVD compilation of excerpts from various productions produced lots of laughter!

Along the school corridor old class photos going back to the turn of the 20th Century were exhibited and these were very popular. Some of the school history was displayed in the entrance hall. Visitors could also sit and watch the DVD of memories from residents of living in Carleton in the past – many of these reminiscences concerned their early school days.

The Village Hall

Copies of scanned Photographs, contributed by past and present residents of Carleton, were on view in a number of categories in this venue: Gala and Feast days, Carleton at Work and at Leisure, Views, Streets and Buildings in the village including a display marking the fact that Carleton Mill is 150years old. We had an area for our Mystery Files – photos where we needed information on who/what/where/when? An amazing number of visitors were able to add details to the Archive database. Thank you very much! A number of visitors enjoyed being able to view the complete Archive on the laptop provided and to view the section we labelled “Carleton Celebrates Royally” where Archive photos of past Royal occasions were a cause for celebration in the village. Carleton will be marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next year and if anyone reading this has further photos of past Jubilee events or Coronation celebrations please contact us and we will make arrangements to scan your photos ready to put them on display on that occasion.

Carleton Post Office

This year the windows of the Post Office were used to give residents a further opportunity to see photos from “A Day in the Life of Carleton”. This was a project undertaken by all ages in the village to photograph willing residents by their front gate/front door to create a snap-shot record of May Day, 2010, in our village. Also on view were photos under the heading “A Picture in a Picture”. These were photos of present day locations in Carleton with, super-imposed upon them, photos from the Archive taken in that same location last century. It enabled viewers to step into the photo and step back in time. This display was favourably commented upon by many visitors who completed our “Evaluation Report” at the end of their visit to the Exhibition.

From these evaluations we were able to see that everyone had enjoyed their visit. They appreciated all the hard work that had gone it to produce the Exhibition but we feel it was well worth it as we were awarded an A* Other comments in answer to “What did you enjoy most” were:

  • It was good to be reminded of what the village used to look like
  • Chats with old friends
  • All very interesting and well laid out
  • Tracing some of our relatives who came from Carleton
  • An incredible project
  • Interesting to see people we knew in years gone by. Thank you very much
  • All very interesting – enjoyed inclusion of panto stuff
  • The range of historical photos – gives a detailed portrait of the village
  • Well organised, friendly and very pleasant afternoon.

We always study the replies to the question “What changes would you like to see” to help us improve for the next Exhibition (which will be in 2013). Some requested improvements to our Mystery files which we have already adopted. Thank you. Others suggested linking Street photos to a map showing locations. This has lead us to consider making individual displays, at our next Exhibition, for each Street or Terrace in Carleton and we would welcome more photos to add to these. Others asked for a guided walk round the village to be part of the Exhibition weekend.

Schoolchildren’s Visit

A new venture this year for our Archive Exhibition was to arrange that the staff and children of Carleton Primary School would visit the Exhibition on Monday morning, 4th July. The children asked a number of very thoughtful questions and were keen to find photos related to themselves and where they lived. They were fascinated by the number of shops we used to have in Carleton and how people dressed and the type of work they did. Some of the children in school are researching school history and asked about their founder Elisabeth Wilkinson. e.g. “Why did she only provide money for the BOYS to have an education?” After a bit of a chat about girls not needing to gain qualifications as their role would be to stay at home and cook/clean/sew/ look after children and not go out of the home to earn money one little girl remarked “How did they manage?” (financially). The answer being no fancy holidays, electrical goods, regular new clothes, books, toys, etc. and their eyes were wide open in amazement…..! The children were very well behaved and it was a delight to have them visit. We are planning to work closely with the school for the next Exhibition.

 Some visitors to the Exhibition came simply to take a trip down Memory Lane. Others wanted to meet up with relatives they had not met in a while, whilst others came to find relatives they felt sure had lived in Carleton in the past! New residents of the village came to discover what their newly- adopted home had looked like in times gone by. We are pleased they all enjoyed their time with us.

Sincere thanks to all volunteers who gave their time, skills and effort to this, our 3rd Exhibition.

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We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of Carleton-in-Craven Parish Council and several local businesses:

Yellison’s Farm Shop, The Swan Inn, Roy Moorhouse (Painter and Decorator), Coffee Care, Poppy Cottage Guest House, Craven Cards & Calendars, PMH Productions, Wildacre Cosmetics, Mercer Lake Ltd and a number of generous individuals.