National award honour for Yorkshire museum volunteer Gordon

Gordon Clitheroe, of Beck isle Museum
Gordon Clitheroe, of Beck isle Museum

A volunteer from a small, volunteer-run museum in Yorkshire has been ‘Highly Commended’ in the national Museum and Heritage Awards held in London.

Gordon Clitheroe, who has volunteered at Beck Isle Museum in Pickering for 52 years, was Highly Commended in the Volunteer of the Year category.

“Gordon has been unstinting in his commitment to the Museum over the last 52 years and the trustees are delighted that he has received national recognition for his dedication to Beck Isle Museum” said Dr Mike Pitt, chairman of the trustees.

“It is an accolade not only for Gordon, but also for a local, volunteer-run museum to be recognised in this way.”

Gordon has been a volunteer with Beck Isle Museum since its foundation in 1967. When the founders took over the Georgian house, which had been divided into flats, Gordon brought his skills as a qualified plumber and associated building skills, enabling him to play a key role in the team of volunteers who converted the Grade II* Georgian house into the Museum as it is today.

Gordon has served on the management committee in roles from chairman to honorary curator and remains a trustee.

Over recent years, Gordon has continued to be an anchor for the Museum, with his vast knowledge of the history of the Museum and of Pickering and the surrounding district providing a unique source of information for volunteers and the museum manager. Gordon also uses this knowledge to give illustrated talks to community groups in the area.

Gordon has produced six books illustrating the history of Pickering and district, and from 2014 to 2018 lead a team which researched all those from Pickering who served during the 1914-18 War.

In 2018 the second volume of this research: Beck Isle Museum Remembers Pickering’s Returning Heroes was published, tracing the biographies of more than500 servicemen, and some women, who returned from the war.

Gordon still comes into the museum most days and continues to use his skills helping to maintain the building, doing anything from clearing gutters and sweeping paths to liaising with contractors.

He continues to play a formal role by serving as a trustee of the charity, but it is his outgoing nature, his generosity of spirit and his utter dedication to the Museum over the last 52 years that is an inspiration to everyone who knows him.

IN PICTURES: Take a look at the gems of Beck Isle Museum here