Malton Museum is aiming to forge new links with the local community to enliven an interest in the history of Malton and Norton.

The museum's Roman collection has some important examples of objects made of jet.

Their jet bear is one of only seven discovered in Britain and has a very poignant story to tell.

In the Roman period, jet was worked in Norton and used widely for decorative objects. It was popular in the region and readily available from outcrops at Whitby

A spokesperson foe Malton Museum said: "To help us tell the story of jet in more recent years, the museum is asking local people if anyone has pieces of Victorian mourning jewellery or other examples of Whitby jet which they would be happy to loan to the museum for a short period."

Malton has a long history as a market town selling the best of local produce. The importance of its dairy industry saw an Act of Parliament published in 1743 to prevent the “committing of abuses in weighing and packaging of butter in the town and borough of New Malton.”

The spokesperson added: "As a result, the butter trade flourished in the town, with butter inspected and marked with a seal by a market official.

"Wholesale trade eventually declined but the retail trade remained as popular as ever. Every market day the farmer’s wives brought their produce to sell under the arches of the town’s butter market, meeting the great demand for butter at all levels of society.

"To illustrate this part of our history, the museum is developing a display of a farmhouse dairy. Many local farmers will still have objects, stories and photographs of times past when excess milk was churned into butter and sold at the local market.

"If anyone has items which they would be willing to lend to the museum for this display, or stories they would like to share we would love to hear from you."

Malton Museum is aiming to find a permanent home for its nationally significant collection of predominantly Roman artefacts following a significant grant.

The museum, which is currently based in Yorkersgate, has been awarded £50,000 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, administered by North Yorkshire Council.

The money will be used to commission consultants to undertake a feasibility study for a new home for the museum in Malton.

Malton Museum was founded almost 90 years ago but has never had a permanent home for its nationally significant collection of predominantly Roman artefacts.

If you are able to help Malton Museum by lending either a piece of Whitby jet jewellery or any memories of early days of a farmhouse dairy, please contact Margaret Shaw at