An historic museum is battling on over summer with a host of activities - despite council plans to close it later this year.

Friends of Red House Museum, Gomersal, which was the setting for Charlotte Brontë’s novel Shirley, hope to persuade Kirklees Council to overturn its proposal to shut its doors in October.

The museum is targeted by the council with Dewsbury Museum and Tolson Museum at Ravensknowle Park, Moldgreen.

Huddersfield Art Gallery is also earmarked for closure, but a new plan is to merge it with Tolson.

The moves are described by council chiefs as “inevitable” as they battle budget cuts.

The Friends of Red House, a Grade II Listed building dating back to 1660 and renovated in the Georgian era, have taken part in the council’s consultation exercise.

Friends chairman Jacqueline Ryder said: “The Friends thank everyone who has signed the petitions, filled in the council’s survey and written to the council to let them know how strongly they feel that Red House should be kept open.

Stained glass window at Red House, Gomersal
Stained glass window at Red House, Gomersal

“We feel we did everything we could to let people know about the danger of closure in the short time available. We now have to consider what the future might hold if the Cabinet approves the closure at its meeting on September 20.”

The Friends are also looking for people to help with identifying organisations which might be interested in taking over Red House.

Jacqueline said: “The Friends’ first choice would be to keep the museum open for the people of Gomersal and visitors from further afield. But we have to be realistic and consider alternatives. If you can help us with this, please get in touch with me at jacquelineryder99@yahoo.co.uk.”

Friends of Tolson Museum tell of despair at Kirklees Council closure plans

Red House is open 11am to 5pm Tuesdays to Thursdays and noon to 5pm Saturdays and Sundays during the summer holidays. Entry to the gardens and shop is free but there is a small charge to look around the house.

Special activities this week

• Thursday August 4

Chapterhouse Theatre Company presents Peter Pan. The gardens will be open for viewing and picnics from 6pm and the ticket includes entry to the house from 6pm to 7.15pm. Adult ticket price is £14, £12 for senior citizens, £10 for children and students and £42 for families.

• Saturday August 6

Craft weekend inspired by the Brontes - 1-4pm, origami artist Linette Withers will lead a workshop to make mini books, inspired by those made by the Brontes when they were children. The workshop is suitable for adults and older children and costs £10 to include all materials and entry to Red House.

• Sunday August 7

Craft weekend inspired by the Brontes - 1.30pm-4pm, Calderdale Calligraphers will lead a Have A Go At Calligraphy session. Suitable for adults and older children, it costs £5 to include all materials and entry to Red House. Half price if you made a mini book on the Saturday and bring it with you. To book, ring 01274 335056.

• Saturday September 10 and Sunday September 11

Heritage Open Weekend, noon-5pm. Free entry. Craft activities for children all weekend, and Sunday will include demonstrations of traditional crafts and pastimes.

Now until Sunday, September 4, noon to 4pm (closed Mondays and Fridays): Summer quiz trails with a prize draw and craft activities to celebrate the Olympics. Giant garden games outside. Entry charges apply to the house, but admission to the garden and shop is free.