Well-known North Yorkshire collector of social history artefacts Sid Woodhams dies aged 83

A well-known North Yorkshire collector of social history artefacts has died aged 83.

Sid Woodhams, who has died aged 83, was well-known in North Yorkshire
Sid Woodhams, who has died aged 83, was well-known in North Yorkshire

Sid Woodhams, 83, was described as a unique character and well loved in Ryedale.

Di Keal, founder member of what was to become the Woodhams Stone Collection, said he was a “lifelong and passionate collector of social history items”, many of which relate to Malton and Norton. They include tools and household items.

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He was delighted to see his long-held dream of finding a home for ‘his’ collection – and that of friend John Stone – when the Malton and Norton Heritage Centre opened in 2020.

Mr Woodhams’s first job was repairing shoes for Timpsons, before becoming a butcher in Bridlington, then moving to work for the Coop in Malton and Pickering. In the 1960s, he changed career completely, working for Trendons in Malton manufacturing a host of items including toys.

Meanwhile his love of bygones grew. He started to visit auctions and ‘the collection’ rapidly expanded.

A further change came in the 1960s when Sid and Moira set up selling hamburgers and bacon rolls from a van in Commercial Street, Norton. This was followed by a sweet shop and newsagents on Church Street next to the cinema. Finally in his multi-faceted career, Sid teamed up with ex-colleagues from his days at Trendons manufacturing plastic skeletons used in the medical profession.

In a strange twist of fate – this innovative new product, that achieved worldwide success and appeared on the BBC hit series, Tomorrow’s World, was first manufactured in the exact same unit that in 2011 many items from Sid’s vast collection of social history items were stored when he and John Stone generously donated their collections to the people of Malton and Norton to become a local history resource.

During the 1980s and into the 90s, Sid was Honorary Collections Curator at Beck Isle Museum, Pickering where he learnt about collections care and management. He provided objects for a number of local history exhibitions held at Malton Museum and held open days round Malton and Norton for the benefit of local people.

Mr Woodhams was also a founder member of the Charles Dickens (Malton) Society and was made an Honorary President of the Woodhams Stone Collection in 2020.

The trustees of the Woodhams Stone Collection want to pay tribute to Sid for his dedication to the organisation founded in his name and his generous support that will ensure his beloved Collection will be available to the community in Malton and Norton for many years to come.

The trustees will be organising an event at The Malton & Norton Heritage Centre to celebrate Sid’s life and work later in the year.

Mr Woodhams is survived by Moira, their son Graham and granddaughter Amelia.