A CONONLEY man celebrated his 78th birthday by taking on the Three Peaks Challenge to help preserve a chimney at Barnoldswick’s Bancroft Mill.

Peter Mitchell, a volunteer at Bancroft Mill, walked the peaks on September 2 - his birthday - to raise over £700 to help get crucial re-pointing done on the 120 feet chimney, now almost a century old.

Bancroft Mill needs to find about £60,000 over the next few years to carry out the work.

On Sunday, September 30, the public is invited to a steaming day at the Gillians Lane mill.

Treasurer Tony Nixon said: “As the autumn sets in, come and see the two fine steam engines running at Bancroft Mill,

“For the last 12 months we have had two engines running; the 650 HP Roberts engine, which originally powered the mill, and a 300 HP Smith Bros and Eastwood engine, rescued 15 years ago from a mill at Bradley.

“Ninety-eight years ago there would have been at least 13 steam engines powering the mills of Barlick; now there is just one left in its original setting, cared for by a small band of dedicated volunteers.”

Stanley Graham, the last engine tenter at Bancroft, said: “The Bancroft engine is the only asset left in Barlick directly connected with the textile industry which was our life-blood for a century. How many small towns can boast that they have a piece of heritage as potent as the Bancroft engine in steam? It is an educational tool, a piece of living industrial sculpture.”

The mill will be open from 11am on Saturday, September 29, and Sunday, September 30. For further details, including admission prices, visit bancroftmill.org.uk