Winners announced in Malton Literature Festival's young writers competition

Ten-year-old Anna Batley thinks Malton Museum is well worth the visit

Rory Selvey, 12, who has followed up his recent success in a photography competition to win a literature prize

Piper Crick, 11, who has had many great school trips to Malton Museum

First published in Features

YOUNG writers have demonstrated their talents in a writing competition as part of last month’s Malton Literature Festival.

Pupils from schools across Ryedale were invited to write an article persuading the community that museums are important.

The winning entries chosen were Rory Selvey, 12, from Woodleigh School for Key Stage 3 and 10- year-old Anna Bailey, from Sinnington Primary, and Piper Crick, 11, of Norton Primary School, as joint winners in the Key Stage 2 category.

Margaret Shaw, education officer at Malton Museum, who organised the competition, said the aim was to engage young people in campaigning to save museums and preserving local heritage.

“Well done to the winners and thank you to all those who took part in the competition,” she added.

Anna Batley, 10, Sinnington Primary School

IN my opinion, museums are a part of the universe. This might sound odd to you, you may imagine the British Museum zooming through the galaxy at the speed of light, with the curator getting ready to go outside in a spacesuit and magnetic boots.

That may happen one day, but hopefully not anytime soon (I’m hoping to visit it next summer).

I am the sort of person who can imagine with ease a purple elephant climbing the empire state building wearing a wetsuit and holding a bottle of sun cream. But one thing I cannot imagine is the closing of a museum.

Museums are a vital part of a community. They are fun, interactive places where your imagination can really run wild. No one in the present day knows exactly what it must have been like to be a Viking or a Tudor, but scientists have pieced together what they can and thanks to our extended imagination, we can piece together a lot more of olden folks’ everyday lives.

I have only been to Malton Museum twice, but I think it’s a place well worth the visit. I was amazed to find that all the artefacts were excavated locally.

The Romans are not one of my favourite history topics, but here I really saw them literally come to life in a series of fantastic and interesting displays and I especially liked the ceramic cremation vessel from the third century.

When a museum closes, all those wonderful artefacts are sent away to a musty storeroom to gather dust. I must say it would feel amazing to get them all out again and unwrap them one by one. But they need to be displayed for all to see.

Rory Selvey, 12, from Woodleigh School, Langton

A MUSEUM is education. It’s a simple as that. To get rid of a museum would be to get rid of part of Malton; sure it would only be a fraction of the UK’s museum population but as Tesco says, “Every little helps”. Furthermore, Malton Museum is a part of the town, and attracts tourists, locals and school trips.

I would like to refer to what we all think a typical town has – supermarkets, bakery, sport shop, newsagents, post office, cinema, swimming pool and museum. However, not all towns have a museum. I would like to think it gives a town a bit of character and shows that the community has culture and are interested in their past.

It’s not just people in Malton community interested in the history.

Locally, there are many schools, including Norton, Woodleigh School, Malton School, Langton Primary School.

Without this museum the children could miss out their education and learning about the history of the local area.

History, being a main subject taught at schools, is easiest learnt starting with the things around you and your area. If Malton Museum closes there will not be anywhere for young children to see Roman and Viking artefacts and try to understand their life. When children visit they can do mosaic making, which involves organising tiles to make them tessellate.

Plaster painting, pottery sorting into shapes, trying on Roman costumes and more. All of these things help children learn more while having fun.

Malton is a historic place, with a rich history. The town has homed Vikings and Romans; it was burned down in 1138 by the archbishop of the time, to flush out the Scots living in among them. Surely there isn’t a better place to keep these facts and artefacts than a safe museum in the middle of the town for all to see?

A museum gives jobs as well, staff to talk to the visitors, secretaries, gift shop workers, as well as behindthe- scenes cleaners, financial director and more. If the museum wasn’t there to provide employment, people may end up redundant. In such a tight community it’s not worth the risk. If these people were to complain it could attract bigger attention from the BBC, bringing people to think poorly of Malton and not want to visit.

I’m not sure how to get Malton Museum out the trouble it’s currently in, I’m no expert. However, I’m sure that it shouldn’t shut. I’m sure that until they can find it a new location they should leave it open, not because of money, but out of goodwill. I don’t know of a better place for Malton Museum, but I’m sure one can be found and arranged to use. Whether it’s an old stone building or a modern site, it needs a new home and shouldn’t be shut.

I understand the owner of the property, Fitzwilliam Estates, wants a restaurant there to get more money, but what about the tribute it makes to the town; it gives the town another main characteristic. I’ve been to Malton Museum a few times and it’s great for schoolchildren as I mentioned in my earlier second point.

In conclusion, a museum gives jobs to people in the community, helps children learn about their local area and how Romans/Vikings lived and worked. It’s a vital part of the town and joins in making it a tourism place. I think Malton Museum is a great place and shouldn’t shut down ever, I hope you all agree with me and make the right choice. Thank you.

Piper Crick, 11, Norton Primary School

MUSEUMS are important to communities because it’s a source of good information about historical facts and about important happenings on the timeline, which go back hundreds and thousands of years.

We look to museums to help us but they can’t do that if you close them down.

Museums are full of ancient artefacts which are used to show us what the people used to live like and do back in the past before TVs and computers were invented. These artefacts are what makes Malton Museum, Malton Museum.

In Year 4 we went on a trip to Malton Museum and it was amazing; it was full of amazing artefacts and things that would have been found in Roman houses. It was amazing. We really loved it. We don’t want it to close. This museum is a credit for schools because you can have brilliant school trips there.

They should be kept safe because the people who work there are trying so hard to keep the museum running and have a good response from their visitors.

Please don’t close Malton Museum because it’s a great museum with lots of good information and fascinating facts about the timeline. If you close it you will have made a hole in the hearts of the people who love the museum. So please don’t close the museum, please.

If you keep the museum open it will make more and more people happy. Please!

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