I have been there several times before, but I regard it as something of a pilgrimage into my family’s past.
The museum is based at the old Caphouse Colliery which is near Flockton, the village I’ve traced my family back to in the early 1700s.
They worked the more shallow mines in the area until the death of my great-great-great-great-grandfather in 1835 when his widow and her children crossed the Pennines to Cheshire.
It was an incredibly dangerous profession and this was underlined on the day of my visit with the news of a miner’s death after a roof collapse at Kellingley Colliery, the last working mine in the country.
The highlight of a trip to the museum is the underground tour, riding the cage 140 metres below ground, complete with miner’s helmet and lamp, but I gave it a miss this time to enjoy the sunshine on the surface.
But the thing that impresses me most about both the museum and the sculpture park is that they are both free to enter.
This isn’t some lingering genetic parsimony from my Yorkshire roots. I believe it is important to do all that we can to encourage people to explore their cultural heritage.
I wonder how long this will last in the present economic turmoil.