TWO of Bradford's biggest tourist attractions have officially opened for the first time since lockdown.

The National Science & Media Museum and Keighley & Worth Valley Railway (KWVR) opened their doors yesterday with enhanced safety and hygiene measures in place.

It was a treat for four-year-old David Weatheral who went aboard one of the railway's historic trains with driver Graham Hartley.

But welcoming visitors had been a long-time coming for the railway staff, who had completed a number of trial runs between Oxenhope and Keighley using their volunteers earlier this month.

In April, KWVR chairman Matt Stroh warned of the railway's "struggle" to cope with financial pressures. However, following the successful ‘Worth Saving’ appeal, more than £200,000 was raised. The railway also received £50,000 from the National Heritage Lottery Fund and a donation of £30,000 from the KWVR Trust.

All together the fund raising efforts, including the recovery of ‘Gift Aid’, stands at well over £300,000.

Railway spokesman Carla Weatherall said tickets had to be booked in advance and were selling fast, with only a handful left for this weekend and limited numbers for the rest of the month.

She said: "We were fully booked on the first day. People are having a wonderful day out and it's great to see steam back in the valley:

"People have told me they feel really safe. They don't need to keep their masks on while in the train because they're in their family bubble.

"August is a trial for us, and we'll be releasing September weekend tickets soon on our website. There's been a lot of work behind-the-scenes."

It will be operating steam-hauled return journeys from Oxenhope with private compartment carriages available from one to eight people with special vintage trains running on Sundays.

Each carriage will be thoroughly cleaned between journeys. It is not essential to wear a face covering onboard but are compulsary in indoor public buildings, including the Exhibition Shed. Tickets for KWVR's trains are only bookable online.

The media museum's director, Jo Quinton-Tulloch, said: “We are delighted to welcome visitors back through our doors once again after five months of closure due to coronavirus. The experience of visiting will feel quite different to pre-lockdown with many new safety and hygiene measures in place, but we are very confident that visiting the museum is as enjoyable as ever.

"Not only can visitors see the museum’s inspiring collection again, we have also debuted new experiences such as Wonderlab Live, which uncovers the science behind our collection in creative and surprising ways.

"We are already receiving lots of demand for tickets in our reopening week which is really wonderful to see, so I encourage everyone to pre-book their free ticket on our website to avoid disappointment.”

Many of the galleries are now open to the public, including the Kodak Gallery and the popular interactive Wonderlab, which will have enhanced cleaning regimes in place. The exhibition, The Forgotten Showman, which opened in November 2019, is also being extended upon reopening and will now run until February 2021.

Visitors can also explore the brand new Wonderlab Live experience, where they can get up close to the museum’s inspiring collection and witness mind-bending demonstrations showing how the principles of sound and light can be used creatively to change the world around us.

The museum will initially be reopening with the reduced hours of 10am-4pm, Wednesday to Sunday. Face coverings are mandatory with visitors limited to members of their household or support bubble.