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New Barnsley Museums Heritage Patrons announced

Barnsley Museums Heritage Trust is delighted to announce the appointment of Mel Dyke and Joann Fletcher as honorary patrons of the charity.

Mel Dyke, a miner’s daughter, was born and lived in Barnsley her whole life. From her 1960’s Consumer Association involvement she taught in local schools for 27 years, often using mining themes and local high achievers to help raise aspiration until being invited to join the PGCE Staff at Bretton Hall College of Higher Education and following its closure at the University of Leeds, Emory University Georgia and UCLA. She now works as an independent writing and educational professional. Mel coordinated a number of local history titles written in local schools, perhaps most notably ‘The Bus to Barnsley Market’ and ‘Energy is Coal’. Her latest publication ‘Grimethorpe Revivial: Famous faces support a coalfield community’, covers the effect of pit closures on the Grimethorpe community in the early 1990’s, following on from her books ‘All of Barnsley’ and ‘Barnsley & Beyond’.

Joann Fletcher is an Egyptologist and professor in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. She was also recently awarded the Freedom of the Borough of Barnsley, and works closely with Barnsley Museums. She is a world authority on Egypt’s female pharaohs Cleopatra and Nefertiti, has published nine books and made numerous television appearances, in 2012 winning a BAFTA and most recently writing and presenting the series ‘Immortal Egypt with Joann Fletcher’ on BBC 2 (for which the Radio Times dubbed her ‘Barnsley’s Cleopatra’).

Both are passionate about Barnsley, which they regularly promote and are advocates of the town’s museums and galleries.

Mel Dyke said: “I am extremely proud to accept this honour, which I do on behalf of everyone who has contributed in any way to Barnsley’s excellent museum service.”

Joann Fletcher said “It’s such a great honour to be asked to be an Honorary Patron of such a fantastic organisation which does such great work for the town. I’ll do all I can to live up to it”

Margot Walker, from the Barnsley Museums and Heritage Trust board said: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of Mel Dyke and Joann Fletcher as honorary patrons of the Barnsley Museums Heritage Trust charity. Both were born and bred in the borough and are passionate about supporting their home town and the great work of the museum service.”