‘I thought you were going to look over that job’. 

Image of a window sill, with from left to right, a handprinted booklet that reads ‘I thought you were going to look over that job’ and a print of a goose, a pile of feathers, coins, burnt wood, some hay, several horseshoes, a piece of cloth ripped from an apron and a bottle with a note in it.

‘I thought you were going to look over that job’. Stories of disabled people in the Criminal Justice System in Ripon in the Victorian era.

An Exhibition co-created by a group of people with lived experience of disability at Ripon Museum Trust. October 2023.

What is the lived experience of disability? What is its history? What was it like in the Criminal Justice System in the Victorian era and what do we know about the lives of disabled people who encountered it? Is it any different now? What will it be like in the future? What do we hope for? What do we fear?

This artwork explores the lives of seven disabled people who encountered the Criminal Justice System in Ripon for various reasons during the Victorian era. These were court cases that were heard at Ripon Court House and people who were held at Ripon House of Correction. It is based on fragments of their lives captured in censuses, newspapers, and police and court records.

In telling these tiny snapshots of a life, we have sought to present a creative, and hopefully respectful story.

Created during September 2023 by, Carol Turnbull, Charlie Dunning, MaryJane Olivier, Margaret Crosfield, Glen Griffiths, Linda Richardson, Anna Moore, Nicola Bradbury, Stephen Lee Hodgkins and the Artmakers from Henshaw’s Arts And Crafts Centre for RIPON MUSEUM TRUST. Special thanks to Jenny Clough, Pat Wilson, Jean Berry, Claire Greensit, John Holmes, Moira Smith and Mark Cronfield for their voice over recording, as well as Andy Bates and Laura Allan who coordinated and supported the project throughout. The project was funded by the Arts Council. See https://riponmuseums.co.uk/

Published by SLH