The Ossett and Gawthorpe Community Archive.


The Ossett and Gawthorpe Community Archive is mainly a collection of photographs of the people and places of Ossett and its neighbouring village of  Gawthorpe. At present it contains about 3,000 images.

The archive was started in the early part of the millennium and was created using Commanet software, a new system for photographic archives developed locally. The system is a “hard-drive” based system but once we had input reasonable number of records, the system providers arranged, at a cost, for its uploading and hosting on the internet. Unfortunately, after about five years, many of the user groups throughout the country who also had their archive on the Internet ran out of hosting and maintenance funding. Shortly afterwards the system providers  went into liquidation and since then we, and many other groups, have had to continue with just the original system. We try and give regular public demonstrations and have sold a few DVD’s.

For some time we have been trying to get the archive back on the Internet but we have been unable to find a commercial compatible system.  Systems that do not even have the same features were far too expensive for most Community Archive Groups, ourselves included. We have been very fortunate in finding another group trying to find a solution and they have got a volunteer who is now making good but slow progress designing a new compatible, Internet based system. We are at the “prototype” stage so hopefully we will be back online in the not too distant future.

Many of the images from our archive have been used to illustrate our “Yarn” project stories and to get them onto the Internet so that this can be done we have used our “sister WordPress page”, This web-page also contains a few articles that have not been included in the Yarn Project.


Past Events

“Archie the Archivist” Scarecrow Runner-up 2012

At the moment, because of the proposed refurbishment and upgrading of the Library, we are limited on what events we can hold there. In the past we have had the following types of events:-

Speakers on a very wide variety of subjects.

Poets reading their poetry.


Beetle Drives.

Outings to Country Houses, Museums, York Mystery Plays, etc., etc.

Participation in the Ossett Scarecrow Competitions – Two first prizes and a second.

Projects with local schools. A very successful one was a project with the Sixth Form College at Ossett Academy. This involved working with students on the Ossett and Gawthorpe Community Archive over three months and culminating in a very well attended Local History Evening. There are a number of videos regarding this event on YouTube including

Holy Trinity Primary School participated in our “Yarn” Project.

We like to give public demonstrations of the Archive and “Yarn” whenever possible. You will usually find we have a stall in the town on Gala Day and Heritage Day.

OTTA’s Local History Evening. Friday 28th September, 2018.

We had an enjoyable and successful evening at OTTA’s Local History evening held at the Kingsway Church on the 28th September. Our stand promoted particularly the Yarn Project and the services provided at Ossett Library. Thanks to all who came along and chatted to us. It was a lovely event.


Our members have been busy knitting poppies!!


Outing to Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle – Thursday 11th October, 2018.

32 members and friends had a most enjoyable day at Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle on the 11th October. We arrived just in time for those who wished, to join the one hour free conducted tour. Even for those who had been on an earlier trip to the Museum there was enough “new material” to keep them interested.

Details about the museum can be found on and for those interested in the history of the Bowes family we recommend that you read “Wedlock” by Wendy Moore – reviewed



Afternoon Tea at Cafe Wellgate – 5 December 2018.

17 members of The Friends group enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea at the Cafe Wellgate on the 5 December. Sorry – the photos were taken after most of the delicious food had been eaten.

Photo 7.

Photo 4

“Yarn Project” – Stories About Ossett’s History and Hetitage, Its People and Places.


Yarn Header

The Friends took part in a one year project with the University of Leeds that aimed to get people to write reminisces, stories and articles on subjects of interest to them. These are illustrated by hyperlinking with media (photos, videos, voice recordings and articles) available on the Internet. Contributors could use their own material by getting it onto the Internet via our “Ossett and Gawthorpe” WordPress webpage

Weaving heading

Although we no longer receive University support we are continuing to gather stories and we are in contact with the University about developments and improvements of the Yarn package.

Our stories can be found on “Weaving Ossett’s History” on

We would love you to do a story for us.



Friends of Ossett Library “The Journey Begins”. The development of our new website.

Thanks for taking an interest in The Friends of Ossett Library.

At last we are getting round to improving our communication with our members and the general public. We hope you find the website we are developing both informative and interesting. Being absolute novices at this we would welcome any suggestions or comments you may have on the design or content. How could our website be more useful?

We have decided to publish things as soon as they are drafted so we expect at first to be editing things constantly until we are happy with them.


Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton