PEOPLE are being urged to get involved with running the district's museums and libraries as volunteers.

From showing people around Grade I listed City Hall on special open-house days to keeping the steam engines at Bradford Industrial Museum in tip-top condition, Council bosses say there are a host of activities that volunteers can get involved in.

And with budgets dwindling, volunteers have also played an increasingly important role in the district's libraries.

Libraries at Wrose, Denholme, Wilsden and Addingham have all stayed open, thanks to members of the community stepping forward to run them without pay.

Currently, more than 90 people give up their time to help out at the district's art galleries and museums.

One of the volunteers is 67-year-old David Thrippleton, who helps to run the huge steam and gas engines in Bradford Industrial Museum's motive power gallery, as well as helping to look after its collection of vintage Jowett cars.

Mr Thrippleton, of Pudsey, spent his career doing "anything mechanical rather than clerical", he said.

Now retired, he has been volunteering at the museum for around three years.

He said: "When you come in in the morning, it's just a case of oiling everything up, switching it all on and then making sure people don't climb over the barriers, or do things they shouldn't.

"We are there to explain everything to people, should they want to know.

"As long as I can walk about, I'll be doing it. There's always something that needs repairing or tinkering with in some way.

"The most rewarding part is chatting to people, and when they ask something if they don't happen to know it.

"A couple of days ago, we had a young fellow and his son in and they were rather interested. They looked round everything and that afternoon went by just like that."

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council's executive member for employment, skills and culture, said: "We have a proud history of volunteering in Bradford.

"The Friends of Bradford Museums and Galleries, for example, have done a great job over many years to support museums staff with exhibitions and events.

"Age and background are irrelevant when it comes to volunteering. It really is something everyone can do and enjoy.

"Volunteers are trained and get expenses."

Anyone wishing to volunteer at a museum can contact Penny Green on (01274) 435900, while anyone wishing to help at a community-managed library should contact Mandy Webb on 07582 102861.