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Event to herald new-look Cliffe Castle Museum
A celebratory event is being held to mark the official reopening of Cliffe Castle Museum in Keighley.
The Grade II listed building was closed to the public for 15 months for a £570,000 refurbishment.
Work included the restoration of Bracewell Smith Hall, new displays and improved lighting.
On Saturday, August 24, there will be a welcome at 2pm by Maggie Pedley – Bradford Council’s museums and galleries manager – and Michael Scarborough, chairman of the Friends of Cliffe Castle. There will then be a talk on the history of the museum by local historian Ian Dewhirst.
Also, family activities – including designing an imaginary shop and learning how to be an archaeologist – will take place between noon and 3pm.
And there will be period piano music in the Victorian drawing room.
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, the Council’s executive member for culture, said: “This celebration event will be a great opportunity for people to rediscover Cliffe Castle Museum.
“It’s always been a hugely popular site and now there are plenty of new reasons to come and visit.”
The octagonal Bracewell Smith Hall has been fully restored to recreate the original design and colour scheme devised by Royal Academy President Sir Albert Richardson in the 1950s.
The Hall was inspired by the interiors at Brighton Pavilion but also by the highly coloured interiors of Victorian Cliffe Castle. It was dismantled and painted white in the 1980s. Restoration involved research of the original green, red and gold scheme. Decorative details were re-gilded by Keighley conservator Pam Keeton, who used more than 3,000 leaves of gold on the design.
The centrepiece of the Hall, which will now be used to show more than 40 paintings from Bradford Museums and Galleries’ collection, is a 13-ft long carved wooden lantern. The room will also host a family interactive table based on the spectacular buildings of the Keighley townscape.
Attendance to the celebration event is free but places should be booked via email@example.com.
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