Photos wanted for community art project celebrating Upper Dales young people

West Burton School c.1953 — one of the photos collected so far.

Images for a giant community photo mosaic celebrating youth and schools in the Upper Dales will be collected over eight weeks.

The mosaic of Dales youth is being created by digital artist Helen Marshall, from The People’s Picture, whose most recent work was Rainbows for the NHS.

It will consist of at least 1,000 pictures of school life in the Dales that will come together to create a whole new image.

Hundreds of photos for the mosaic have already been submitted, but it’s hoped that the community will bring forward many more.

The artwork has been commissioned by The NASH and Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes as part of The Story of Schools in the Upper Dales – an oral history and research project funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund.

The project is delving into the development of schools over time in Upper Wensleydale, Swaledale and Arkengarthdale.

It will culminate in a multi-media exhibition at Dales Countryside Museum opening on January 30, 2021, including the big reveal of the mosaic, a short film, display boards, audio recordings and artefacts.

Project manager Emily Rowe Rawlence said: “We want to create a community artwork that celebrates our schools but also the dynamic youth of the Dales from the dawn of photography to now.

“Do you live in the Upper Dales? Did you go to school here?

“We’d love to see your pictures about what youth in the Dales means to you.

“We’d like to amass as many images as possible.

“Photos can be vintage or modern and feature landscape and buildings as well as people, and artwork and drawings are great too – the more the merrier.”

Helen Marshall of The People’s Picture in front of Rainbows for the NHS.

Education officer Heather Hodgson added: “We’re really looking forward to working with three local primary schools on this project – Reeth and Gunnerside, Hawes and BAWB.

“With pupils and the wider school community we’ll be collecting as many photos, pictures and drawings as we can.

“Dig out your old photos, take a new snap, draw a picture, get creative! Despite the Corona pandemic, with digital technology it’s super easy to participate by taking photos on phones and uploading them online, it only takes a moment. We can’t wait to see what people come up with!’.

Members of the public can participate by uploading their images to the project directly at

You can also drop-in your photos and images at Dales Countryside Museum, Hawes, on the following dates between 11am and 2.45pm.

  • Tuesday, October 6
  • Tuesday, October 20
  • Tuesday, November 3
  • Tuesday, November 10

The museum has social distancing regulations in place.

Please come prepared with a mask and a member of our team will take your details and a photograph of your image.

The Story of Schools artwork will be on display at Dales Countryside Museum from January 30 to April 21, 2021, and will also feature as part of Swaledale Festival.

For further information about the project please visit