THE FRIENDS group at Cliffe Castle has celebrated its first birthday since the merger of separate groups looking after the park and museum.

Cliffe Castle Support Group (CCSG) held a party with guests including Keighley MP John Grogan, Bradford Council leader Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe and Keighley town mayor Cllr Peter Corkindale.

Group chairman Elaine Cooper said members had many achievements to celebrate because they had 'hit the road running' 12 months ago after inheriting the resources of both groups.

Activities since then had included sketch workshops, talks that attracted queues of people, and the gilding of the main gates of the park on Skipton Road.

She said: "All and everyone were invited to drop in during the birthday event in Cliffe Castle to see how supporting the museum and park together instead of separately has paid dividends.

"CCSG also took the opportunity to gather people’s views and comments and welcome new supporters. The celebratory event was a way of showing how much we appreciate our supporters.

"Several VIPs were there to thank the group for the important work it does in protecting Cliffe Castle’s heritage and helping shape the future vision for the site, as well as assisting in making Keighley one of the best family-friendly attractions in the district."

Elaine said there would be many more highlights in the year to come.