A bid to tempt more residents to visit the Keighley and Worth Valley attractions on their doorstep was successful despite the bad weather, say organisers.
The 2012 Go Local Sunday event featured eight different venues. The day was organised by the Bronte Country Partnership, which markets Keighley and Bronte Country to visitors.
On Sunday residents in three Keighley postcode areas were able to enjoy free entry to attractions in and around the town.
A new participant this year was the Keighley Police Museum, which is inside the recently completed civic centre on North Street.
A spokesman for Keighley Town Council said: “Over 550 people visited the centre and experienced Victorian policing and exhibits and forensic science crime scenes.
“All parts of the building were open to the public and tours were conducted by councillors and volunteers. The response from the public to all of our staff was amazing.”
Paul Holroyd, of the Ingrow Museum of Rail Travel, said the museum registered 177 complimentary admissions from residents, in addition to paying visitors from further afield. The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway also said it was busy.
Ann Dinsdale, collections manager at the Bronte Parsonage Museum, said: “We had 236 local people take advantage of the day. That’s about par with previous years even though it wasn’t a great day weather-wise, which would have put quite a few people off.”
Jackie Waters, a spokesman for East Riddlesden Hall, said the day was “absolutely fantastic”, adding that the premises saw 732 visitors. She said the hall experienced an extra successful free entry day last Friday thanks to a separate voucher scheme arranged by the National Trust.
Oxenhope couple Jackie and Michael Cope were among the many Keighley district residents who made the most of Go Local Sunday.
Mrs Cope said the day had been thoroughly enjoyable. “We looked round East Riddlesden Hall for free,” she said. “This is only the second time we have visited this little gem in our midst.”
She said she and her husband appreciated seeing the inside of the civic centre and police museum, and added that the highlight was a session with a retired forensic expert who challenged them to solve a murder mystery scenario.
Other places opening their doors to locals on Sunday were the Keighley Bus Museum, the Star Centre at Keighley Campus Leeds City College and Ingrow Loco Museum.
The bus museum also ran a free, heritage bus service linking each of the Keighley attractions.
Keighley Bus Museum Trust secretary David Jones said the event had gone well despite some torrential downpours.
“The bus service was quite well loaded, our crews reported that they were busy,” he said. “We didn’t have enormous numbers coming through our museum but there was a steady flow of people all day.”