Spruce new look, thanks to the Friends

Gates: Librarian Inderpreet Kaur and Edward Priestley at Rydings
Gates: Librarian Inderpreet Kaur and Edward Priestley at Rydings

Friends of the Rydings have ensured visitors to the Brighouse hall and park received a smart welcome with repair and redecoration of the historic gates which lead to its driveway.

The Friends, a registered charity, supports the development and continued operation of Brighouse Library, The Smith Art Gallery and The Brighouse War Memorial which share the grounds.

Park: The war memorial at Rydiings

Park: The war memorial at Rydiings

It was formed in 2000 following threats of closure of the building.

Members of the group continually raise funds and are always looking to invite new members, said group member Mr Edward Priestley.

Individuals can join at £6 per year and local sponsorship, from £50, is also welcomed.

Saturday morning baked cake and coffee mornings are popular, and for a small entry fee group members have arranged talks on a range of topics, some standing room only. Following a successful Artisan Fair in 2016, the group is working on a similar event for this Christmas, pencilled in for December 2.

Among those who have sent the group good wishes in their efforts are a handwritten letter from Alan Bennett, the playwright involved in preventing closures of similar buildings in London.

“With present council financial cutbacks we have been helping buy items for the library including sevencomfortable chairs for the public in the reading room and gallery. We also ordered and paid for the Grade II listed Victorian wrought iron gates to be renovated at a cost of almost £900,” said Edward.

More improvements are planned and you can find out more about all aspects of the group’s work by logging on to website friendsoftherydings.co.uk and the group also has a Facebook page.