One of the deepest impulses in man is the impulse to record, - to scratch a drawing on a tusk or keep a diary, to collect sagas and heap cairns. This instinct as to the enduring value of the past is, one might say, the very basis of civilization. (John Jay Chapman: American Author and renowned essayist)
A chance meeting in Crook Library some twenty years ago led to the formation of Crook & District Local History Society. Today the Society continues to meet once a month and now has over fifty members.
In 1994 we produced a video contrasting the “old” Crook with the modern. This was very successful and provided the society with funds by which to purchase a computer and video equipment. The initial success of the video led to the publication of a book by the late Peggy Manuel entitled “A Brief Look at Crook of Yesteryear”. This in turn enabled us to apply for grants and acquire further equipment.
Our Logo illustrates the link between the railways, the mines and the fact that the town is situated in an area which formed part of the estates of the Prince Bishops of Durham.
We are always on the lookout for new members and we actively encourage the donation of recent photographs etc so that we have a continuing link with the past. We are also happy to receive correspondence from anyone with a connection to Crook. Unfortunately we cannot undertake any research on behalf of enquirers but if we can help we will. Many of our members have undertaken projects of their own and have made the results available to the membership as a whole thus everyone profits.
The history of our area is rooted largely in the mines and the railways and these played such a huge part in the development of the town that it is vitally important we preserve as much as we can of the images of those bygone days.
If you find yourself having to dispose of family records or photographs from the Crook area could I ask that you please consider passing them to us.
To assist in the preservation of our archive we have stored part of this in a Cube at Beamish Museum. This ensures that artefacts etc are kept in a controlled environment which will help to prolong their life.