Above: Barrie Rutter OBE.

After six year’s effort by CIMA volunteers, the museum was finally opened to the public on 9th September 2017. Proceedings were led by Harry Gration of BBC Look North, who first introduced Calderdale Council Leader Tim Swift…who congratulated CIMA on their patience and persistence, and looked forward to the museum becoming an important part of the cultural quarter growing around the re-furbished Piece Hall, along with the new Library and Archive; the extended Square Chapel; Orange Box; the Minster; and Eureka!. CIMA Chairman Tim Kirker then thanked guests who had come for the opening; CIMA volunteers who had made the whole project possible; Calderdale’s Museum service; and the various organisations and individuals who had already provided significant financial assistance – see “Sponsors” for details. Then CIMA Patron Barrie Rutter OBE was invited to wield a massive pair of cropping shears and cut the ribbon across the entrance door. Finally, the Mayor of Calderdale, Councillor Ferman Ali, unveiled a stone plaque to commemorate the day, before the visitors waiting patiently in the rain were welcomed into the museum.

In the two hours left of Saturday and the opening on Sunday, well over a thousand visitors passed through. Sundays’s numbers were more than double the previous best we have recorded at earlier one-off open days.

The museum is now open every Saturday from 10 until 4 and, so far, visitor numbers are averaging above 100. This gives us a new income stream providing much needed funds to off set the day to day running costs.

The mayor and mayoress and TV celeb’s mixed with other distinguished guests at our open day.