A popular museum has won a top award.

The Colne Valley Museum at Cliffe Ash in Golcar has been granted the Sandford Award for excellence in heritage education.

It is the second time the entirely voluntary team behind the temporarily closed attraction has been given the gong, which is only presented to historic properties and collections that run quality education programmes.

They were picked by the Heritage Education Trust and the Bishop Grosseteste University College, Lincoln.

Sue Starr, the museum’s schools’ co-ordinator, went to London to pick up the certificate with fellow team member Margaret Moriarty at the London Transport Museum, where it was presented by the Reverend Canon Professor Peter Neil, Bishop Grosseteste University’s Vice Chancellor.

Sue explained why they won the award.

She said: “This is a great achievement for an independent museum which has been run entirely by its volunteer members for over 45 years.

“Inspired by Tony Stevens and his team at Clarke Hall in Wakefield, we began to offer “days of experience” to school children as well as older visitors in the 1970s, to visit Mrs Pearson, the owner of the first cottages at Cliffe Ash.

“It was and still is quite a shock for children of the 21st century to be transported back in time to the home of a handloom weaver of the 1850s.

Take a look at our pictures from the official opening of the extension at Colne Valley Museum

“And although Clarke Hall is sadly closed down now, it is good to know that their work is still inspiring children and giving them a real insight into local history.

“We had a very enjoyable visit to the London Transport Museum to receive our award and met people from museums throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

“We plan to visit some of them during the year to see their work with schools and we hope that they will be able to visit us in turn when we reopen, and enjoy the hospitality for which we are famous.”

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The museum is due to re-open this Spring following extensive development work funded by a £719,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Builders are currently renovating the four weavers’ cottages which house the Museum and creating a period bedroom.

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This will allow the volunteers to achieve their aims of making an entire 19th century weavers’ cottage, with a living kitchen, wash cellar and a loom chamber, for visitors to explore.

Anne Lord, of the museum, said: “We’re unofficially hoping for Easter but we’ll have to wait until nearer the completion date.

“So far it’s all gone to plan and we’ve got some marvellous builders in who know how to work with the building.”

The Museum will also feature in a big new TV drama which starts on Thursday evening.

Some of the scenes for Jericho, starring Jessica Raine, were shot at the Museum last year.