A MAJOR grant has been awarded to a project which is helping to preserve the social history of Malton and Norton.

The Woodhams-Stone Collection, has been given £91,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the development of 'Two Collections, Two Towns'.

Led by volunteers from the local community, the project will focus on the digital recording of the Woodhams-Stone Collection alongside recorded interviews with collectors John Stone and Sid Woodhams.

Two staff have been employed to work to help create an online record of every item in the Woodhams-Stone Collection, which will run to several thousand. Each item will be recorded, photographed and its history detailed.

Volunteers will also be trained and supported to interview John and Sid as they talk about their love of collecting and describe both some individual items from their collections and when and why they purchased them, alongside their own life history locally.

The Woodhams-Stone Collection has already held several exhibitions in Malton and Norton and this new funding will enable them to expand this work further and give local people more opportunities to see items from this unique collection that has been for many years hidden from view as private collections.

Sarah Maultby has been appointed as Project Manager for The Woodhams-Stone Collection assisted by Michelle Petyt as Collections Officer.

Chairman of the Woodhams-Stone Collection, Di Keal said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund – this is the next step in the project to record everything from this important local heritage collection and secure it’s future for the people of Malton and Norton in the town where it originates”.

Fiona Spiers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund – Yorkshire and the Humber said: “Preserving our historic collections is important as they provide such a valuable resource for anyone who wants to explore their local history. This project will not only safe guard this important local collection but also provide volunteers with the opportunity to learn new skills.”

Anyone interested in volunteering with The Woodhams-Stone Collection should call Di Keal on 01653 694546