Keep up to date with Whitby Museum

WHITBY Museum is celebrating one of its most successful years so far thanks to an exhibition of old photographs.

The Many Faces of Whitby exhibition which was staged earlier this year proved so popular it had to be extended and ended up raising £3000 for museum funds.

Cash was made from the sale of prints that were displayed in the exhibition and discs which had a slideshow of hundreds of images.

Demand was so high that a second cd was produced and some of the images from the exhibition feature in a 2012 calendar with historical shots of the town that is now on sale.

Chris Roberts, the joint curator of photography at the museum, said: “We finished up selling prints and cds for £3000. It was miles more than we were expecting and is by far the most successful exhibition that has ever been staged in financial terms.”

Staff at the museum are also in the process of re-recording history thanks to a £1.2 million legacy that was bestowed by local character Tommy Roe who died in 2007.

The glass negatives bearing thousands of images, many of them Sutcliffe’s, are being transferred from cardboard box files into acid free paper sleeves and metal cabinets in the hope they will be preserved for years to come.

The cabinets have been imported from Italy and funded by a grant from the trustees of the legacy Mr Roe left.

He was an avid hater of Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) and attached conditions to his donation that not one penny should be spent on improving anything that belongs to SBC but he wanted to make sure history was preserved for future generations of Whitby people.

Mr Roberts said that for many years acid was used in paper making and the detrimental effects of acid on the images was only realised years later.

Mr Roberts added: “The condition of some of the negatives was deteriorating very rapidly. Before world war two most negatives were based on the same kind of material that was used to make explosives and it was very unstable.

“As we are re-housing the negatives and glass plates, which include the full collection of Frank Meadow Sutcliffe, every negative plate is being scanned so we have a permanent digital image.”