Maurice Dobson Museum & Heritage Centre - Atlas Obscura

Maurice Dobson Museum & Heritage Centre

Darfield, England

A local museum dedicated to the history of village life in Darfield.  


The Maurice Dobson Museum & Heritage Centre is ostensibly about Dobson himself but is in reality much more. The museum contains a treasure trove of interesting items collected over the years, lovingly illustrating the history of Darfield, a former pit village on the outskirts of Barnsley, along with the surrounding areas. 

The museum is named after Maurice Dobson, who had a storied life. Dobson was born in 1912 and grew up in the area. Over time, he worked all sorts of jobs—including serving in the army, boxing, working in hotels, and coal mining. Eventually, in 1956, Dobson and his partner Fred Halliday bought a shop/off-license in Darfield that is now the museum.

Notably, Dobson liked to cross-dress, and both he and partner were openly gay, but in spite of the more socially conservative standards of the mid-20th century, both men were accepted as part of the local community.

Dobson and Halliday were avid collectors of antiques, many of which can still be found in the museum. The museum also has a tea room that makes popular bacon sandwiches.

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