The first time I came to Whitby Museum, around 30 years ago, my immediate reaction was, ‘Why hasn’t anyone told me about this before?’ I couldn’t believe that such a wonderful place could exist without me knowing about it. At first I was amazed by the giant fossil reptiles – natural enough, since I was trained as a geologist – but then I started to take in the ammonites and bivalves, the birds, the canoes and weapons from the South Seas, the wonderful ship models, the Roman remains and the toys. I soon realised that I’d need a fair few visits to take it all in and, before I knew it, I was volunteering just in order to spend more time at the museum.
One other attraction was the people. The museum inspired me to start writing about the history of fossil trading and geology along the fabulous Yorkshire coast. So, I started to do detailed research in the museum and library. I was welcomed with open arms by all the volunteers, many of them deeply interested in the stories I uncovered. That’s why, three decades later, I’m still involved.
So, come to the museum to get amazed and inspired; but, beware, it could become addictive.
Curator of Geology