Castleford Museum’s latest exhibition honours inspiring local women from the worlds of education, art, politics and sport.

Four new family-friendly and interactive displays showcase historic pioneers and the stars of the future!

Making their mark reveals how the influential art teacher Alice Gostick sparked a passion for pottery painting across the country.

Following her example, talented craftswomen led Castleford’s proud tradition of hand decorating ceramics.

The display focuses on the intricate work of five painters: Eva Arundel, Mrs England, Vera Ward, Ida Woodward, and Alice herself.

The women’s beautiful pots are a rainbow of colour and pattern, each signed with their own unique maker’s mark.

Joining ranks pays tribute to the women who rallied together during the 1984-85 miners’ strike. Discover how they protected communities and often changed their lives in the process.

The display features key objects such as the hard-hitting ‘A-Z of a Miner’s Wife’ poster sold in aid of the Normanton and Altofts Miners’ Support group, which is kindly lent by the National Coal Mining Museum.

It sits alongside a banner, handmade for two of Fryston’s flying picketers by their sister, and proudly adorned with Women Against Pit Closures stickers. The banner was donated to the Wakefield Museums & Castles collection in 2018 and is displayed here for the first time.

Degrees of style tells the story of a miner’s daughter turned stylish socialite, who reinvented her life. Fashion follower, Meg returned to education later in life and swapped glamorous parties for university and a career in design.

Meg’s story is told by a close friend and the display centres on one of her prized fashion staples, a distinctive black and silver jacket by Lee Bender at Bus Stop, worn on the local 1980s dinner party circuit.

You can also try on a range of vintage jackets for size!

Raising champions features some of the many girls’ rugby league cups and medals in Castleford Academy’s impressive trophy cabinet. Marvel at the school’s honours board, hear from former students who have made it to the sport’s highest level, and see the current stars in action.

Former students who have made it to the sport’s highest level share their stories in their own words and explain what rugby league means to them, whilst training footage shows the Academy’s current stars in action.

Young visitors inspired to follow in their footsteps can find out how to get started in the game, and take their celebration selfie with our museum trophy!

Share your story

Castleford Museum is also asking audiences to share their stories and are especially keen to hear about any women who were involved in the miners’ strike or worked in the pottery industry. Story sheets are available in the museum for visitors to fill in with details of the amazing women in their lives.

The hand-painted coffee set by Alice Gostick and the Fryton Flying Pickets banner both also feature in Wakefield Museums & Castles’ 100 Years of Collecting Online Exhibition.

Click here for full visitor and access information for Castleford Museum

Venue opening hours

Monday : 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Tuesday : 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Wednesday : Closed

Thursday : 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Friday : 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Saturday : 9:30 am - 4:00 pm

Sunday : Closed

    Access facilities

  • Accessible Toilet
  • Assistance Dogs Welcome
  • Baby Changing Facilities
  • Hearing Aid Loop
  • Relaxed
  • Wheelchair Accessible

Venue Details

Find us at

Carlton Street, Castleford, WF10 1BB