Exhibition celebrating 950 years of communication in Richmond opens

Maya and Elijah Papworth Bennett visitors from Rugby receiving their certificates from the 'Postmaster' Albert Morton alias Rotarian Warn.

An exhibition celebrating 950 years of communication in Richmond opened at the weekend — and proved popular with local people and visitors.

Maya and Elijah Papworth Bennett, who are on holiday from Rugby, were delighted to receive certificates from the postmaster, Albert Morton, alias Rotarian Warnock Kerr.

As part of the exhibition the court in Richmond Town Hall has been turned into the Post Office that was established in King Street by Albert Morton in 1907.

The telephone exchange was also housed in the post office and by the 1940s county councillor Morton had been instrumental in introducing the telegraph and telephone to Swaledale.

The exhibition has been curated by members of Richmond Rotary Club as part of the Richmond 950 celebrations.

Many varied stories of communications through the centuries, from the Normans to the present day, are revealed through cleverly written and illustrated banners.

Designed to appeal to all age groups, the exhibition also includes town criers, a working model railway and even talking robot heads in the shape of Alice in Wonderland and Richmond’s famous Drummer Boy.

An ingenious family quiz around the town has been devised and, if conditions permit, a small pigeon race for homing pigeons on Richmond Racecourse at the Bank Holiday will take place.

The light-hearted exhibition is in Richmond Town Hall on most afternoons and 10am – 4pm Sundays, from now until Bank Holiday Monday, August 30th.

Admission is free and a free colourful souvenir guide is also available.

For opening times, visit www.richmond950.co.uk and click on ‘events’ and then ‘communications exhibition’.

Commenting on Richmond Rotary Club’s involvement, club president Emma Fulton said: “We are absolutely delighted to be contributing to this important event celebrating just one aspect of Richmond’s fascinating past.

“Thanks to the Richmond 950 Steering Group, funding for the exhibition was obtained from Richmondshire District Council and we are especially grateful to a number of Rotarians, and others, who have put in a great deal of effort to make the exhibition possible.”