A COMMUNITY-run museum is gearing up to celebrate its 40th birthday.

Thirsk Museum is a shrine to the history of the market town and wider area and is reopening on in April after its winter break.

Thirsk MP Kevin Hollinrake will visit at 1pm on April 7 to celebrate its landmark anniversary.

Committee secretary Alan Webster said the museum is much-loved by local residents and has even welcomed bus-loads of tourists from as far afield as Japan and China.

It is run by volunteers and is solely dependent on donations to stay open.

The museum building is the birthplace of Thomas Lord, founder of Lord’s Cricket Ground, who was born there in 1755.

One of its most popular, and perhaps most chilling, artefacts is the ‘Busby stoop’, so called after the villain and murderer Thomas Busby who lived in North Yorkshire in the late 1600s.

Mr Busby allegedly cursed the chair before he was hanged in the summer of 1702

and legend has it that dozens of people have since died after sitting in it.