Dudley Bear, the Museum Mascot was born in June 2013. He has since become very popular with visitors to the Museum. Dudley Bear can usually be found in the Museum Reception, wearing one of his many outfits.
Dudley Bear in one of his favourite outfits.
Harold Dudley was the Museum’s curator from shortly after it opened in 1919 until he retired aged 75 in 1956.
Dudley dedicated his life to transforming Scunthorpe Museum from a one-room exhibition in the library to the major collections filling the present building. He recovered innumerable finds from ironstone mining and the local area, created displays, and spread knowledge through academic books, public lectures and talking to schoolchildren.
Although running the museum was his full time job, for most of his career until 1939, he was paid no salary and supported his family by teaching music in the evenings and providing piano accompaniment to silent movies in local cinemas.
In 1961 he was made a Freeman of the Borough. But it was the success of the museum service and the spread of knowledge – especially to the younger generation – about the importance of North Lincolnshire’s heritage, which he regarded as his greatest reward.