THERE’S double the fun as National Heritage Days return to Keighley, the Worth Valley and South Craven.

LOCAL churches and visitor attractions are laying on special events as the annual festival is expanded to two weekends this month.

The event, billed as England’s biggest festival of heritage and culture, runs on Saturdays and Sundays September 8, 9, 15 and 16, with some events also held on the preceding Fridays.

It will see around 600 events taking place in towns, villages and the countryside across Yorkshire and the Humber.

Funded by the National Trust and People’s Postcode Lottery, this year’s programme includes ‘Extraordinary Women’ talks, walks and exhibitions to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote.

East Riddlesden Hall, the National Trust’s 17th century manor house, will offer free entry to everyone on Saturday, September 15 as part of the festival.

Hundreds of years ago, the manor was a thriving farming estate.

Today the house tells tales of the ambition, success, and failure of those who lived and worked there and the barn displays the 400 year-old markings of proud craftsmen.

National Trust spokesman Carla Weatherall said: “As well as the historic house and barn, we’ve got lots of outdoor space ready to be explored, wildlife to spot and nature to get close to.

“The gardens can be enjoyed at any time of the year, and in autumn the trees are laden with apples, pears and figs - a sign of a fruitful harvest.

“The play area, mud pie kitchen and den building corner give opportunities for families to come together and enjoy outdoor natural play.

“There are hidden areas to discover such at the Discovery Garden - can you reach the end of the giant log without falling off?

“Whether it’s making mud pies for the whole family to enjoy or hunting for bugs in the undergrowth, we’ve got everything you need for a great family day out.”

East Riddlesden Hall has a tearoom, and picnics are welcome in the grounds.

Visit or call 01535 607075 for details of special events and opening times.

Ingrow railway station will be open throughout the National Heritage Days with attractions including the engine shed, Vintage Carriages Trust museum, and Rail Story with its newly-opened learning coach.

Rail Story is the home of the Bahamas Locomotive Society which cares for LMS Jubilee 45596 Bahamas, LNWR Coal Tank 1054, Hudswell Clarke Nunlow, Andrew Barclay Tiny and an impressive collection of railway exhibits.

A spokesman said: “Our new children’s railway corner will be open for children to delve into our railway treasure chest. Guided tours of the museum, workshop and yard will be offered.”

Also at Ingrow Station is the Carriage Museum run by the Vintage Carriages Trust.

The museum houses what is regarded as one of the finest collections of vintage carriages in the UK, as well as diminutive loco ‘Lord Mayor’ which appeared in the BBC serialisation of The Railway Children on TV in 1968, two years before the famous film was made.

The Vintage Carriages Trust will offer tours of the museum and workshop.

The station’s new learning coach will be open for visitors, with its child-friendly display of animals and railways.

Visit for further information.

Keighley Shared Church will display its parish registers and historic furniture including mouseman flower stands, on September 8, 14 and 15 from late morning to mid-afternoon.

The church is dates from 1848 and was designed by RD Chantrell in Victorian gothic style, with monuments from the original medieval church and 1807 building.

Visit or call 01535 665270 for details.

Kildwick Bell Tower, with its ancient clock, will be open at the village’s St Andrew’s Church on all four days from noon to 4pm.

Visitors can see the ringing chamber with its rare ropes known as ‘Yorkshire Tail Ends’, and they can try out ringing on a dummy bell.

There will be a talk about bells and bellringing, guided tours of the church, and a chance to see the magnificent 19th century clock and the bells themselves.

Visit or call 07971 670730 for information.

Visitors can climb up the belltower of St Mary’s Church in Oxenhope on Friday, September 7 from 2pm to 5pm.

They can view the bells and the war memorial clock, watch the bells being run, and experience the first steps of learning change ringing.

Call Bob Schofield on 07702 138436 for further information.

Bancroft Mill, in Barnoldswick, will show off historic steam engines of September 8 and 9, including one rescued 15 years ago from a mill in Bradley.

The 117-year-old 300HP Smith Bros & Eastwood engine is running again following a 10-year restoration programme.

Also “in steam” will be the 650 HP Roberts engine which originally powered the mill in its glory days 98 years ago, when they would have been at least 13 steam engines powering the mills of the village, known to residents as Barlick.

Stanley Graham, the last Engine Tenter at the mill, 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.

“This industry was the foundation of our late 19th century and 20th century development from a village to a thriving industrial centre.

“It provided the premises for our modern high-tech employers and nurtured a work force that could turn its hand to anything from making beds to modern jet engines.”

Guided tours will take place at various times during the afternoon, or people can explore the mill on their own. The mill will be open from 11am on both days, with engines running at intervals from 1pm to 3.45pm. Admission to the mill is free during the weekend.

Visit for further information.