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.

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A house of correction in the 19th century and a women's prison in the 20th, the largest in Western Europe. Holloway Prison needs a fitting legacy. A women's building, with specialist services & accommodation for vulnerable women would be ideal. Read more https://tinyurl.com/277h6yz4

The greatcoats our #Nightwatchmen wore had gone up in price by 5 shillings in 1833 since they’d last been bought in 1828 for 28/5 each – about £100 in today’s money. Fascinating to see how the costs are broken down, such as ‘Altering capes to fit the neck’.
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Lovely postcard from the collection showing #Manchester Assize courts. Designed by Alfred Waterhouse and completed in 1864 they were demolished in 1957 & suffered heavy damage during the Blitz.

We hold some calendars of prisoners for the Assizes in our collection.

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Book your tickets now: http://www.Ironbridge.org.uk/plan/ticket-prices

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Development Manager, National and Networks @SampsCaroline wrote a blog about the Research Resilience event we ran with @history_uk, where she calls for more conversations between historians and archivists to shape future ways of working.

Read it here: https://www.history-uk.ac.uk/2021/07/19/reflections-research-resilience/