IT’S one of the Colne Valley’s greatest success stories.

Marsden Mechanics, which in the late 1970s was in danger of being knocked down and replaced by a car park, is today buzzing with activity.

And now it’s bang up to date with it’s own website retelling its glorious past.

The hall is used by all kinds of people, from Weightwatchers to African Drummers, yoga enthusiasts to the local branch of Friend to Friend.

And it is also a very popular venue for weddings and parties.

All this creates a headache for the hall’s supervisor, Janet Maude.

And now she has been given a much-needed helping hand with the launch of a new website for the hall – and a fascinating online history of the imposing building.

Janet said: “It’s been getting a bit much recently. I like to do the bookings myself, but it was getting to the stage where I needed a bit of help.”

Dave Pannell from Marsden-based graphic design agency The Design Mechanics has proved to be the Good Samaritan.

He has created the new website which will help Janet take and organise bookings and enable the hall’s many users to see exactly when the building is free.

Dave has also created a section about the hall’s long and varied history.

He has charted its evolvement from its beginnings in the 1860s as an institute for the education of working men, through turbulent times as a centre of radical politics and into a long period of decline. The decline was only reversed after a lengthy campaign resulting in the hall’s complete refurbishment in the early 1990s.

The Mechanics’ Management Committee is delighted with the results and will be launching the website at a special event tomorrow at 11am.

Janet said: “We want to draw attention to ourselves so we’ve invited the Marsden Brass Band’s Junior section to come along and help us celebrate.

“There’ll be an opportunity to see an exhibition prepared by the Local History Group, free refreshments, short speeches and a chance to view the website.”

The event will take place in the Institute’s foyer.

Tom Lonsdale, who chairs the hall’s committee, said: “The new website is just one strand of our attempts to raise awareness in the village that the Mechanics is a community-run facility and that the direction it goes in can be shaped directly by public opinion.

“The committee is always on the look-out for new ideas and also new volunteers willing to put on events for the community.”

The Mechanics’ new home in the virtual world is at www.marsdenmechanics.co.uk