Keighley's Cliffe Castle Park Reopens
The completion of the £4.5 million restoration of Cliffe Castle Park was celebrated with a Grand Re-opening event called Christmas at the Castle.
Around 3,000 visitors attended the museum on Sunday (Dec 10) making it one of the busiest days ever.
Inside the museum Father Christmas, a vintage barrel organ and carol service entertained the visitors, with children from Ingrow and Long Lee primary schools singing carols.
Snow began to fall mid-afternoon giving the park and the market an authentic Christmas feel, all to the backdrop of Herr Jens Brass Band playing festive brass.
Glitter was sprinkled on the event by the two magnificent Christmas tree stilt walkers who proved a real hit with the children.
Opening speeches were made by Councillor Sarah Ferriby Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, Council Leader Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, John Williams of the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Lord Mayor of Bradford Coun Abid Hussain.
The Lady Mayoress, Mrs Shahnaz Akhtar also attended and the ribbon was cut by Jennifer Smith, who is the longest serving member of the Cliffe Castle Park Conservation Group.
The restoration of the park, supported thanks to National Lottery players, is now complete and ready to be enjoyed by the public.
Coun Ferriby said: “It was a really enjoyable day despite the cold and it was great that so many people turned to up to take the opportunity to celebrate the event. It was great to show off the improvements and our spectacular new glass houses.”
Coun Hinchcliffe said: “I’ve been really looking forward to seeing the park complete and it doesn’t disappoint. The glasshouse is superb and the park now has the fountains fully restored and working. It does Keighley proud. What has been achieved is very impressive and everyone should take the opportunity to visit.”
Daru Rooke, Museums Manager, said: “Loyalty to the Cliffe Castle Park and Museum is very strong in the district and we were delighted to welcome almost three thousand visitors into the museum alone .
“The park is truly dazzling and everyone enjoyed seeing this beautifully restored park which became a winter wonderland in the snow.”
New Pavillion café operators Suzanne Thompson and Mary Carroll said: “We had a great day. It was really exciting to show off the new Glasshouse Range and to chat to all the visitors about our vision for the Cliffe Castle Pavilion. The turnout we had yesterday really shows how much the people of Keighley care for this special place. We are now getting back to work to get the new café facility up and running to welcome you all back in early January.”
The event was organised by Bradford Council and the Cliffe Castle Park Conservation Group.
The restoration of the park’s Victorian features first began in June 2016 when Bradford Council successfully bid £3.5 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Parks for People programme.
Cliffe Castle, the former home of Victorian textile millionaire Isaac Butterfield, became a public park and museum more than 50 years ago.
Keighley's Cliffe Castle Park Reopens, 12th December 2017, 12:28 PM