A NEW season celebrating Ryedale’s heritage is underway with museums appealing for local people to visit the history on their doorsteps.

To kick-start a year of 50th anniversary celebrations, Ryedale Folk Museum, in Hutton-le-Hole, threw open its doors for free to residents yesterday (Tuesday).

The event took place during school half-term, with activities, including cooking in the cottages, children’s crafts and a fun trail around the museum’s grounds, continuing today (Wednesday) and tomorrow (Thursday) from 11am to 4pm each day.

Providing free entry to the museum is part of a wider initiative organised by the Ryedale Heritage Partnership, which is funded by Ryedale District Council.

The partnership hopes through a range of promotions to encourage local people to enjoy their local heritage and become a tourist in their own area.

Members of the Ryedale Heritage Partnership also include Beck Isle Museum, in Pickering, Malton Museum, North Yorkshire Moors Railway and the Woodhams-Stone Collection.

Rodge Dowson, manager of Beck Isle Museum, which has reopened for the new season, said: “We have been working behind the scenes, redecorating and changing displays during the winter months. We have a new exhibition on Pickering clock and watchmakers and we are also working on a display looking at the town post-war during the 1950s. Later in the year we will also be putting together a First World War project and exhibition to mark the anniversary.”

Rodge said they would continue to offer half-price entry for Ryedale residents, along with free admission for children accompanied by an adult at weekends during February.

“With support from Ryedale District Council and along with other museums in the area, we are encouraging local people to go and see their local heritage,” he said.