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Oxenhope pensioner in demand for Keighley museum lift
An Oxenhope pensioner has demanded Bradford Council installs a lift in historic Cliffe Castle Museum.
Kate Lee said at the very least there should be a chairlift to take elderly or disabled people to the first floor.
She said she was amazed the council passed up on the chance to improve disabled access during Cliffe Castle’s recent 15-month, £570,000 refurbishment.
She believes the oversight means many visitors are forced to miss some of the most interesting, and nostalgic, exhibits at the popular museum.
Mrs Lee said: “With the vast amount of money they’ve spent on Cliffe Castle, they could have put in a little lift.
“I wouldn’t want to spoil the look of the place, but I’m sure they could tuck one away in a building this size.”
Mrs Lee suffers from arthritis and has had to use crutches for several years, so she has been unable to explore the whole museum for a long time.
The first floor houses Keighley Stories, an extensive display of artefacts from the town’s past, as well as stained-glass windows from local churches.
Mrs Lee added: “This is the sort of thing older people would be interested in. Even if they’re not disabled, they might not be able to get up the stairs.
“I came to Keighley in 1966 and used to visit Cliffe Castle a lot when my children were young.”
Bradford Council said it did consider putting in a lift to the first floor at Cliffe Castle during the refurbishment.
But a council spokesman said: “As the first floor itself is not all on the same level, it would not have provided improved access for people with disabilities.
“The Grade II-listed building was constructed at a time when there was no consideration for disabled access, and although we do try to adapt all our buildings to take into account the needs of disabled people, in some instances, it is not practical.
“Because of this, we have provided a ‘virtual tour’ of the first floor, which is available to view on the ground floor so people do not miss out on the fascinating exhibits on show.”
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