A joint venture between Malton Museum and The Woodhams-Stone Collection, the exhibition will be open at the Milton Rooms, Malton, from Saturday.
It is the first major exhibition by the museum since it left the town hall, although the partnership between the two organisations has been ongoing behind the scenes for two years.
The exhibition, Windows to the Past, features displays about Malton and Norton’s hidden history, including the hugely successful Welham Curling Club in the 1800’s, and a range of souvenirs featuring the towns, horseracing and trade and shopping.
Museum volunteer Ann Clark, who has organised the exhibition alongside Sarah Maultby, from the Woodams-Stone Collection, said: “The museum is delighted to be exhibiting in the community again and Windows to the Past is just the first of a series of exhibitions and other activities that we will be running this year.
“I am convinced that local people and visitors will be fascinated by glimpses into the secret history of Malton and Norton and will find out something that they were completely unaware of that used to happen here.
“For example, the Welham Curling Club, based in Norton, competed in an international competition in Switzerland in 1907 and won, returning to Malton with the cup to a heroes’ welcome featuring the White Star Band and celebration dinner.
“The combination of information from the museum and original pieces from the Woodhams-Stone Collection paints a wonderful picture of Malton and Norton from the Roman occupation to the 19th century and we hope people will enjoy learning more about the history of the place where they live.”
The Woodhams-Stone Collection is made up of the collections of local residents Sid Woodhams and John Stone.
Collection officer Sarah Maultby said: “It has been intriguing working on the exhibition and the wider project cataloguing literally thousands of items that the collectors have amassed over the last 40-plus years.
“It is great to see some of these things come out of storage into public display and I am sure that people will find the exhibition fascinating and even find links between the past and the present. We have come across many names among the artefacts that are still common in the towns today, so people may even learn something new about their own family history.”
The exhibition has been supported by Ryedale District Council through the Ryedale Heritage Partnership.
Entry to the exhibition is free, but donations are welcome towards the running costs of future exhibitions and activities.
A Ryedale residents offer will run on Saturday, February 15 and from Thursday to Saturday, February 20 to 22, with those attending the exhibition invited to enter a prize draw.
First prize is a family pass to the Jorvik Viking Centre, in York, second prize, lunch for two at The Talbot, in Malton, and third prize is a bottle of champagne.
The exhibition is open at the Milton Rooms on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from 10am to 4pm.