Museum of Rural Life at Alford Manor House
Museum of Rural Life (formally Hackett's Barn Museum) is part of the Alford Manor House Complex.
“Clock in” to the Museum of Rural Life and experience a glimpse of daily domestic life from a bygone era.
Many of Alford area’s former local businesses and trades, including Soulby Sons & Winch brewery, Heeley’s Dispensing chemists, Hildred’s sweet factory, Shaw’s Veterinary Practice, a Shoemaker, a Wheelwright and many more, are very well represented by the fascinating collection of artefacts.
A feature is the Bootmakers shop, with leather patterns, old studded boots, clogs, hobbing iron.
A very well equipped Blacksmith’s shop occupies the former cow shed, complete with items of harness and tack.
As befits a Market town in the heart of an agricultural community, agriculture is very strongly represented.
Many farming hand tools of great diversity and purpose are on display. A full range of horse drawn machinery from ploughs to waggons including a very rare “moffrey” cart; a fine Smythe seed drill ; a Massey Harris reaper binder dating from about 1900 now restored to full working condition. A rare and impressive Hornsby threshing “drum” in excellent condition occupies a prime position in the Hackett Barn.
All types of cake breaking, chaff cutting and root slicing barn machinery, once used to prepare animal feeds, occupy the cart shed.
In the Coach House Stables is a large collection of fully restored Lister and Petter stationary engines, dating from 1930s – 50s. These were once found on virtually every farm, powering machinery, before mains electricity became available.
One of the largest exhibits is a 1957 Massey Harris 780 Special combine, which is currently undergoing restoration. This local machine is an important and now quite rare survivor representing many thousands of its type that once worked on farms throughout the country in the 1950s and 60s.
The sail trolley from R Thompson Millwrights of Alford and a very large wooden pattern, for casting a mill “wind shaft”, have very recently joined the collection.