Heritage: Heptonstall Museum marks one year since re-opening as a volunteer-run venture

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It’s one year since Heptonstall Museum opened its doors for its first exhibition as a volunteer-run venture.

The museum has welcomed over 4000 visitors to experience its current exhibition - “Criminal Coiners: Life and Death in Wild West Yorkshire” as well as a range of events over the past 12 months.

Since the community asset transfer completed last year, the museum is now focusing on future plans to capture and share the stories of its past with the communities of the future.

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Trustees at Heptonstall Museum at the opening last year, from the left, Tim Machin, Linda Maynard, Rebecca Land, Jules McGonigle, David Anthony Kennedy, Nicola Jones and Gemma Outon.Trustees at Heptonstall Museum at the opening last year, from the left, Tim Machin, Linda Maynard, Rebecca Land, Jules McGonigle, David Anthony Kennedy, Nicola Jones and Gemma Outon.
Trustees at Heptonstall Museum at the opening last year, from the left, Tim Machin, Linda Maynard, Rebecca Land, Jules McGonigle, David Anthony Kennedy, Nicola Jones and Gemma Outon.

To celebrate the one year anniversary, there will be two opportunities for audiences to enjoy the much-loved film, Heptonstall: Village of Memories at 7pm on May 30 and 31.

Originally recorded back in 2008, film-maker Nick Wilding will be on hand to share his own related anecdotes and updates.

The museum will also be sharing details of future plans including their monthly history talks, now scheduled through to next January, plus news of how to get involved in shaping the next exhibition.

Nick Wilding is also a trustee of the museum and one of many regular volunteers, alongside other ‘Friends’ who have worked hard to make the museum a success this past year.

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Heptonstall Museum.Heptonstall Museum.
Heptonstall Museum.

“One year on from the opening, the incorporation of the museum’s season of talks will hopefully be another good reason for visiting this atmospheric building,” Nick said.

As well as the ongoing Coiners history talks, the museum has been building a reputation as home to a variety of different events over the past year including poetry readings and workshops, performances, craft fairs and artist’s studios.

One of the museum’s next projects is Heptonstall’s History - Connecting with the Cragg Vale Coiners.

This initiative aims to engage local children with the rich tapestry of Heptonstall’s past, weaving together themes of industrialisation, landscape, and community heritage told through the story of the Cragg Vale Coiners.

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An initial funding gift of £1000 from The Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge is a wonderful way to kick-start this initiative.

Tim Machin, chair of Friends of Heptonstall Museum said: “Our own fundraising campaign has been set up to raise the additional monies needed to pilot with selected primary schools, we’re confident that this exciting opportunity will soon extend to other interested schools.”