Colne Valley Museum will be fully open to the public again from this weekend after a major revamp which took much longer than expected.

And one of its first major attractions will be a new military exhibition.

The restoration has cost more than £750,000 and is almost a year behind schedule.

Volunteers were due to reopen the doors at the museum in Cliffe Ash, Golcar, in March last year – until a major problem was found with the roof.

It has meant the roof, which covers three cottages, has had to be completely new which has delayed the museum getting fully back into action.

Parts of Colne Valley Museum opened last autumn but this weekend the top floor will once again be open featuring the loom room where people worked in the 1840s. It also features a spinny jenny invented in 1764.

In effect the original 1840s cottage is now at the heart of the museum featuring the kitchen, bedroom and the upstairs working room.

Volunteer Anne Lord said: “The only aspect of the museum we are now working on is sorting out the old clog room – we are up to our elbows in clogs but that should be sorted in a couple of weeks.

“We are so pleased to be fully back open and are looking forward to welcoming the public and schools.”

The museum hosts special step back in time days where schoolchildren call at the original cottage and ‘Mrs Pearson’ welcomes them in. They then spend the entire day in the Victorian era being taught how they baked, how the spinning and weaving was done and they also try their hand at some crafts.

The revamp was mainly paid for with a £719,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the museum has had to find the rest.

On the bottom floor there are two kitchens. The one in the end cottage is Mrs Pearson’s period one which makes up part of the complete weaver’s cottage. Next door is the Victorian kitchen for school use and baking demonstrations.

Visitors enter by the middle floor which contains a shop, cafe, the new exhibition gallery and period bedroom.

The new exhibition is called The Havercake Lads – Life in Wellington’s Army from 1812-1816.

It depicts the lifestyle of a soldier of His Majesty’s 33rd of Foot Regiment. As well as close ups of the stunning uniforms visitors will be able to examine the contents of a soldier’s pack and discover the various weapons used at that time.

Watch Havercake Lads at the Colne Valley Museum below.

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The battalion acquired the nickname of The Havercake Lads after a type of oatcake which was used as a recruiting tool (promising regular food) in this part of the West Riding in the 18th and 19th centuries.

On Sunday, February 12, members of the 33rd Re-enactment Group will march through the village of Golcar to the museum.

The museum is open Saturdays and Sundays 1-4pm.

Admission charges are adults £2.50, concessions £2 and accompanied children are free.

Schools can find out more about the history days by emailing