NEW volunteers have stepped forward to help a local attraction which had hit “crisis point”.

The historic Shipley Glen Tramway had seen its volunteer numbers slump to such a low level that it was in danger of having to close on some weekends.

But an open day, held on Saturday to mark the grand reopening of the site’s refurbished museum, has seen a host of people offer to give up their time to help out.

Maggie De’Vries, Shipley Glen Tramway trustee, said: “We have had a few people interested in volunteering, which is what it’s all about.”

She said many had said they had read about the volunteer drive in the Telegraph & Argus and six or seven people had completed application forms on the day, while more people had taken them home to fill in later.

She said: “We have tried to get across that you don’t need skills, you just need to like people. It’s only when you get to driver level, really, that you need to be trained and we provide training.

“We have only got five or six drivers and that puts a strain on them, because they are on every other weekend.

“Last weekend we didn’t have any drivers. One of the men, who is a big supporter - he is a driver and in the maintenance team - gave up what he was going to do that weekend.”

The tramway is the oldest funicular railway in the UK, and was built to transport people from Saltaire to Shipley Glen. It has been running since 1895.

Free rides were offered all day during the open day and at 11.30am, the museum was officially opened after a £30,000 refurbishment.

Cutting the ribbon was Kate Smith, 82, whose grandparents, Edward and Mary Woodhead, and later parents, Pattie and Herbert Parr, ran the tramway from 1928 to 1942.

Baildon Council chairman, Peter Ashton, and his deputy, Lynne Ware, helped with the opening.

The museum re-fit involved building new breezeblock walls and fitting a new roof.

Displays inside tell the history of the tramway. Part of the museum will also be developed as an educational area as the attraction also aims to hold more school trips.