VISITORS flocked to Cliffe Castle Museum for a garden party at the Victorian mansion.

Yesterday's (June 10) event also saw the official opening of the museum’s new cafe, which is on the extensively redeveloped upper terrace.

The cafe was formally opened by local historian Ian Dewhirst.

A range of stalls were put up outside the conservatory, while in the newly restored Cliffe Castle Park there was live music on the bandstand and traditional lawn games on the grass.

Hurricane Blue and Two Rivers Swing Band both captivated the audience with their signature tunes, making the most of some excellent summer weather over the weekend.

Stalls included the Groove and Grind record shop, fully stocked with vinyl records, who also provided music during the day, and a selection of sellers displaying their local handmade items.

There were also stands manned by volunteers from Friends of Redcar Tarn and Cliffe Castle Park Conservation group.

Insides the Bradford Council-run museum was the Craft at the Castle fair, full of contemporary designers and makers, whose work had links to the collections currently on display in the museum.

Items on offer at the stalls included textiles, ceramics, jewellery, plants, cakes and children’s books.

The cafe in the conservatory is run by Keighley women Mary Carroll and Suzanne Thompson. It first opened its doors in February.

Mrs Carroll said she and the staff were delighted with the public response to the cafe, noting people had even continued to come when the weather was at its worst earlier in the year.

“It’s been amazing and it has brought the community together,” she added. “We want to thank everyone who has supported us.”

Speaking inside the cafe shortly after the opening, Mr Dewhirst said: “We could be in Harrogate, Cheltenham or Bath. There’s no need to leave Keighley when we have a place like this.

“All the people who’ve turned out today shows that the Keighley public will respond when there’s some good weather and an attractive local place to visit.”

Praising the construction of the museum’s new conservatory, Mr Dewhirst said: “When I came up here during the winter, and they were still working on it, I couldn’t really imagine what it would look like.

“But without being an authority on Victorian conservatories I think it feels right.”