A WOMAN honoured with an MBE in 2012 for her 40-year contribution to the heritage of Craven and North Yorkshire has stepped down from her museum role.

Anne Read was one of an enthusiastic group who campaigned for a museum in Settle during the 1970s.

And since 1977 she has been closely involved with the Museum of North Craven Life, based at The Folly in the town - spending much of that time as honorary curator.

As a member and trustee of the North Craven Building Preservation Trust, she was also one of the people who campaigned hard to save the 17th century Grade I listed building - now recognised as being one of Settle's most important architectural wonders - when its future was under threat.

Her colleague Barry Forster paid tribute to Anne's four decades of devotion to the museum.

He said: "Honorary Curator sounds like a ceremonial post with paid expenses and a comfy chair - but for Anne it has meant an unpaid second career demanding up to 16 hours a day, seven days a week.

"Anne rightly insists that nothing could have been achieved without the skills, time and commitment of so many volunteer supporters. Even so, all of us involved appreciate that the lion’s share of planning exhibitions, organising research, and continuously pursuing funding has been borne by Anne.

"She has travelled the winding roads of Yorkshire in all weathers to promote the museum, talk about Craven history, attend workshops, and seek out best practice in other museums." A programme of refurbishment of the museum has been taking place for several weeks, and it is scheduled to re-open on Friday, February 15.

Mr Forster added: "In 2001 The Folly became our museum’s permanent home but until the North Range could be acquired and renovated the research, administration and archive sections had to find space in Chapel Street.

"In 2019 the museum will all come together in The Folly, so no wonder Anne feels it is a good time to retire as curator.

"But this is not a sad farewell. Anne will still be around - but hopefully she will at least get a dinner break, be home in time for tea, and be able to ignore the phone in the evenings!"