Intricate maps - and a musical tribute...
It's the last chance to see a unique collection of locally-based maps, as Bob Hattersley’s ‘Mapping the Past’ exhibition returns to The Station; five years after its first showing.
When the much-loved and respected local geography teacher, cricketer and musician died from kidney cancer in late 2010, the full extent of his unique way of capturing the history and legends of our region in a set of lovingly drawn maps was revealed.
Such aspects as the origins of the place names of Swaledale, Wensleydale and Teesdale, the industrial histories of those dales, the growth of the towns of Darlington and Richmond, the routes of well-known walks all had the spotlight of his research turned on them. Bob recorded the detail on hand-drawn maps, writing in a style reminiscent of Wainwright’s legendary guides to the Lake District
Together with folk band, Fourum, of which Bob was a founder member, his widow, Jean, set about putting his 26 bespoke maps to a totally unintended purpose – raising funds to support research into the disease through exhibitions and sales of copies of Bob’s work.
This effort came to the attention of the Northern Echo and of ITV’s production team for the popular series ‘The Dales’ . Each helped to bring this work to a wider audience.
Jean has been overwhelmed by the amount of interest shown, saying, "Bob’s memory initially stimulated much interest locally. The features on television and the press resulted in orders from all over the UK . Then, when the series was broadcast abroad, orders and wonderful messages came from such places as Australia, New Zealand and the USA."
Together with contributions from sales of Fourum’s CDs and book, Jean was able to hand over £10,000 to James Cook hospital in 2014. It is hoped to add another £5,000 this year.
"The difficulties of finding places able to exhibit the full collection, moving and storing the set of framed prints led to the decision to have a final exhibition of the collected works and to sell the framed exhibition pieces and existing stock of mounted prints as a final boost to reach the next target," says Jean. "We were delighted that the place where the work was first shown – The Station, in Richmond – expressed great support and willingness to stage this final exhibition."
'Mapping Our Past’ is runs from Saturday 4 February to Wednesday 15 February.