Wed 27th Oct
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A visit to


by Malcolm Cowle

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Although I'd made my home in Dent some two years before, I first visited the Heritage Centre at the instigation of my son, Tom. In the Dale on a visit, he asked me what I

thought of the place. I confessed I'd never been and he insisted we visit.

“It's amazing Dad. Not a bit like the museums you made me wander around when I was a kid!”

So in we went, or rather he did. I suddenly realised, amongst the tractors and agricultural equipment on display in the forecourt outside, was a grey tractor that looked familiar. A Ferguson. Although I'm a townie, I was brought up on the edge of the countryside and when I was a lad of thirteen I'd first learned to drive on a Ferguson 65. The model that came out after the one on the forecourt I might add. Im not that old.

“Come on Dad, inside. We can come out here and enjoy tea and homemade cake later.”

Inside, the place was packed with artefacts, reflecting life as it had once been lived in the Dale, collected over thirty or forty years by local farmers and owners, Jim and Margaret Taylor. In addition there are numerous informative posters telling the story of Dent and Dentdale from prehistoric times to the present day, supplemented by continuously running and excellently produced videos featuring residents, past and present.

To the left of the Main Hall, as you enter, is a Transport and a Workshop Hall. Here you will find a Series 2 Morris 8, a magnificent four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage and numerous bicycles ranging from an Ordinary, or ‘Penny Farthing’ to the uninformed, to various examples of early safety bicycles and a 1926 BSA motorcycle. The workshop areas features the work of boot and shoe makers, and a fine collection of clogs, as well as examples of early outside toilets, dairy and other farm equipment.

The Main Hall features a number of displays, including a typical Dale's farm kitchen, a