The Dales Countryside Museum, Hawes
  The Gathering

The 2018 Gathering was a great day of presentations by some of our own members and guest speakers.

Karen Ellwood spoke about Reverend Jacob Costobadie who was the Rector of Wensley parish from 1750 – 1802 and came from a Huguenot background. Sheila Harris gave us the story of a branch of the Constantine family which began with Coverdale millers and ended on the gallows. Catherine Ryan gave a presentation on a number of people from Teesdale who had moved to London and set up successful cheese businesses – ending by handing round samples of Cotherstone cheese! Val Slater had researched one of her direct ancestors, the Reverend James Law, who had lived from 1755 – 1831 and was assistant curate first at Aysgarth, then Horsehouse in Coverdale.

After a buffet lunch and time to look around the Museum and browse in the Local Studies Room we had three presentations from invited guests.

Thomas Chandler is a playwright, a member of the Richmondshire Youth Theatre, and still at school! Thomas had written a moving play about dales miners who fell on hard times and moved to America. He told us why this story inspired him to write and how the Youth Theatre put on a play in 2017 based on the story of the Daykin family, illustrating this with audio-visual snippets of the young people acting out parts of the story.

Rob and Harriet Fraser are a photographer and a writer who came to talk about their exhibition “Voices from the Land” which interpreted the cultural landscape of the dales. They had spent time with farmers, discovering their affinity with the landscape and the challenges of working and earning a living in the dales environment. Fantastic portraits of farmers in their working clothes, alongside interviews which have been transcribed, have made their work a resource for researchers of the future.

Dave Carlisle came to talk about the Earby Mines Research Group, their early exploits underground, how they collected material for the Earby Mining Museum, and how that collection has now come to the museum at Hawes.