A BOOK has been published about Ravens- thorpe's multicultural history.

Stories in a Suitcase was officially launched at Ravensthorpe Community Centre.

Clr Mary Harkin, Deputy Mayor of Kirklees, was at the launch of the 100-page book, put together by Kirklees Council's Community History Service.

The book - paid for by the Dewsbury Pathfinder regeneration scheme - is made up of stories from Ravensthorpe people about how different cultures have grown in the area over 200 years.

The book is based on the Stories in a Suitcase exhibition, held at the community centre two years ago.

The exhibition showed how the booming 18th-century textile trade attracted mill workers from Pakistan, India and Ireland.

It also documented the arrival of Second World War evacuees from Poland, Italy, the Ukraine and the recent influx of refugees from Bosnia and Kosovo.

The book features all the exhibition stories and new stories. It also examines the effect being a multicultural community will have on Ravensthorpe.

At the launch there were traditional cakes from Poland, Bosnia, West Yorkshire and south Asia, to represent Ravensthorpe's cultures.

Live music was provided by local musicians Robin Bowles and Azhar Nasir and readings from the book were given by contributors, including Ravensthorpe schoolchildren and Adam Strickson, of Batley-based multicultural theatre group Chol Theatre.

Mr Strickson is married to Kim Strickson, who co-ordinated the exhibition and book for the Community History Service.

She said: "Ravensthorpe is a fine example of a place where people have made a committed effort to understand each other and move forward."

There are 2,500 copies of the book available to buy from May 4, priced at £8.99.

The book is available from libraries at Ravensthorpe, Mirfield, Dewsbury, Batley and Huddersfield and at Dewsbury Museum.

All proceeds from sales will help community projects.