Tales from the Treasure House column with Sam Bartle

Beverley Minsters treadmill.
Beverley Minsters treadmill.

Some truly magnificent historic collections of items from bygone times are built up by antiquarians, but unfortunately they are all too easily lost, destroyed or split up and sold if the collector loses interest or dies.

Staff at the East Riding Archives at the Treasure House in Beverley come across this problem all the time, and it’s such a shame that precious parts of local history never have the chance of being preserved for the community.

Bempton Cliffs climbers in 1905.

Bempton Cliffs climbers in 1905.

So they were delighted when they were approached with the antiquarian collection of the late Bernard Bradford, containing all sorts of treasures including hand written notes, news cuttings about the discovery of barrows, archaeological digs, houses, local murders and suicides, court cases, air raids and unexploded bombs.

Mr Bradford was president of the East Riding Antiquarian Society and compiled a series of scrapbooks relating to his local history interests in the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire, mainly from 1930 to 1950 but with some items going back as far as 1910.

There is also a huge collection of church photographs taken by Mr Bradford’s friend and fellow antiquarian Mr E Bryan Kitson, which covers just about every parish church building in East Yorkshire.

The antiquarian collection is now safely stored and preserved at East Riding Archives’ specialist repository so that it can now be enjoyed by the public and become part of our local community history.

Anyone who would like to see the collection in the East Riding archives can ring (01482) 392790, email archives.service@eastriding.gov.uk, or pop into the Treasure House in Champney Road, Beverley.