Over the last few years, Professor Helen Johnston and Professor Heather Shore have been working directly with Leah Mellors, Curator at Ripon Museums Trust, on a number of projects.

Most recently, they contributed to museum content (interpretation panels) for the ‘Rogues & Vagabonds’ exhibition, which ran between June and December 2019 at the three Ripon museums: workhouse, courthouse, and prison and police station.

Photo: By Gerard Binks

A collaborative project between RMT and HMP Askham Grange women’s prison has also been informed by Professor Johnston’s historical research on women in prison through the creative arts project ‘Prisoners on Prisoners’, led by Faye Claridge (pictured, right) This fascinating project, which opened at the end of the February, will be at the museums until September 2020.

The project shares the experiences of current and historic female prisoners through audio, textiles and photography. Faye connects historic prison archives with inmates at HM Askham Grange, to explore similarities and differences in their lives and prison experiences.

Through prison workshops for participants to ‘adopt’ a prisoner from the museum’s Edwardian and Victorian criminal record books, Faye has made recordings of their comparisons and created portraits to link with archive mugshots. The artwork gives prisoners a way to share their perspectives and for prison museum visitors to consider the individual lived experience of justice systems.

Faye Claridge (pictured, right) said: “The participants at Askham Grange really connected with the museum archives. Their thoughts on how prison has changed their lives and what changes might have helped prisoners 100-or-so years ago are really moving.”

‘Prisoners on Prisoners’ will be in Cell 13 of the Ripon Prison and Police Museum until 6 September 2020. The project’s progress can be followed through Instagram and twitter with @fayeclaridge, @riponmuseums or #PrisonersOnPrisoners.

For more information, please visit Ripon Museums website.

Latest Updates on Twitter

Thomas Web, 1920, convicted for 'unlawfully wearing Mons Star.' A conman with several aliases, he pretended he had German http://parents.As recorded in the #Ripon Liberty Court Record book. #NorthYorkshire @ourcriminalpast @prisonhistoryuk @CaPnetworkUK

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Police and the Bombing of Gloucestershire during World War Two | Gloucestershire at War | Gloucestershire Police Archives https://gloucestershirepolicearchives.org.uk/content/from-strikes-to-vips/wars/police-and-the-bombing-of-gloucestershire-during-world-war-two

Oh my goodness! I really wasn't prepared for such young faces to be staring at me from the pages of Ancestry's West Midlands Criminal Registers. #OnePlaceWednesday https://twitter.com/OnePlaceStudies/status/1329124980391636993

The 'Garrotting Panic' of the 1860s is captured in these two images. On the left a garotte robbery takes place. On the right, Punch Magazine lampoons the many 'anti-garrotting' devices invented to repel gangs who used this method of robbery.

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30 Artefacts over 30 Days

For the month of November, The OPW and Kilmainham Gaol will showcase some the Museums unique pieces to give you a glimpse of the variety of its extensive Collection while highlighting the historical importance of these pieces. #musuem30 #MuseumsUnlocked

Check out this fab "walking with convicts" digital event for @BeingHumanFest https://twitter.com/LjmulindsayA/status/1326863268619694080

Clive Emsley obituary.
Historian with an international reputation as the foremost historian of policing. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/nov/09/clive-emsley-obituary

30 Artefacts over 30 Days

For the month of November, The OPW and Kilmainham Gaol will showcase some the Museums unique pieces to give you a glimpse of the variety of its extensive Collection while highlighting the historical importance of these pieces. #museum30 #museum2020