Have you joined Daniel’s crusade for Captain Cook?

Daniel Woolfe who has created a petition to save the Captain Cook museum in Middlesbrough with his online and paper petitions at his home in Danby
Daniel Woolfe who has created a petition to save the Captain Cook museum in Middlesbrough with his online and paper petitions at his home in Danby

A ten-year-old boy from Danby has mounted a campaign to try to save the birthplace museum of his hero, Captain Cook, from the threat of permanent closure.

Daniel Woolf, a pupil at Danby School and a keen young historian, has collected more than 1,000 signatures on his petition.

The museum was opened in 1978 on the 250th anniversary of the birth of the famous explorer who sailed on his epic voyages from the port of Whitby and learnt his seamanship in the town.

Situated in Stewart Park in Middlesbrough the museum is near a monument marking the site of the cottage where Cook, the son of an agricultural labourer, was born.

Daniel, whose parents Claire and Andrew are both teachers, said: “I’ve been to the museum lots of times, ever since I was a baby.

“I also like all the weapons that are on display and all the facts about Captain Cook.”

The museum is scheduled to close in October and reopen in the spring but no firm date has been given for its re-opening and its many supporters fear that in view of government and local authority spending cuts it may remain closed.

When Daniel’s parents told him about it he was so upset he was determined to do what he could to save it.

Coun Charlie Rooney, Middlesbrough Council’s executive member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “The Captain Cook Birthplace Museum will close as a cost saving measure for six months over the winter period.

“It is intended that the museum will re-open in the spring although an exact date has yet to be finalised.

“The closing of the museum over the winter is unwanted but as a council we are dealing with savage budget cuts from central government of £50m over five years.

“The number of buildings the council will run will be reduced as part of this.

“The council wishes to explore the possibility of working with interested groups and residents to look at how services can be maintained with volunteers or local trusts.”

l To sign the petition visit www.petitiononline.com/14082011/petition.html