A VOLUNTEER is celebrating three decades of bringing history alive for visitors to East Riddlesden Hall.

Room guide Stephen Webb has spent 30 years volunteering with the National Trust as well as maintaining a full-time job outside the charity.

He has spent that entire time at the 17th century manor house off Bradford Road in Riddlesden, sharing his passion for history and the hall with both visitors and colleagues.

Stephen started volunteering in 1988, at the age of 29, when a love of history led him to become a member of the National Trust.

His experience as a visitor encouraged him to apply for a volunteer position at East Riddlesden Hall after seeing an advert in a local paper.

After a tour of the hall and an informal meeting with one of the volunteer day leaders, Stephen successfully applied as a volunteer and has been a room guide ever since.

In the early years Stephen’s parents often joined him on a Sunday, spending the day at East Riddlesden Hall and becoming regulars in the tea-room.

Being a volunteer often means getting involved with many interesting and varied activities.

Stephen has been known to dress up in black gown and white skull mask, making a scary entrance on the roof terrace of the hall as part of the old Halloween spooky evenings.

But these days he is usually found in more conventional dress helping visitors to enjoy the history of the site.

Stephen said: “Throughout the 30 years I’ve gained a huge amount of satisfaction and enjoyment out of volunteering at East Riddlesden Hall.

“It’s not only given me the opportunity to meet new people but also to share with them my love of history.

“There’s never a dull moment; you never know quite what you’ll get involved in next and working in the beautiful and tranquil surroundings of East Riddlesden Hall really is something special.”

Emily Taylor, Volunteer and Community Manager at the hall, said: “Celebrating Stephen’s 30 years at East Riddlesden Hall is a real highlight. We’ve all benefitted from his knowledge and commitment to looking after and sharing this lovely place.

“Over the years he’s taken many new room guides under his wing and it’s great to be able to learn more from someone who’s been part of the hall’s history since its restoration in the 1980s.

“Stephen is part of a team of over 130 volunteers of all ages, backgrounds and experience who are vital to the continued conservation of this site.”

Stephen’s contribution will be officially recognised later this month when he will be presented with his long-service award and a certificate signed by the National Trust’s Director General.

Visit nationaltrust.org.uk/find-an-opportunity for information about how to become a volunteer with the National Trust.