Special guests including Terry Waite CBE have attended a celebration event to mark the 20th anniversary of the official opening of Mossley Heritage Centre.

On Wednesday 13 October, guests including the Centre’s original founding members and current volunteers descended on Longlands Mill, home to both Mossley Heritage Centre and Emmaus Mossley. The Longlands Mill courtyard was alive to the sights and sounds of Mossley Morris Men along with speeches and presentations to mark the occasion.

Terry Waite, President of Emmaus UK, had officially opened the Centre in 2001. Twenty years to the day, he returned to celebrate and thank all those who have contributed to its development.

Terry said: “Mossley Heritage Centre is such a remarkable and inspirational place to visit. Robert Runcie, the former Archbishop of Canterbury and the first President of Emmaus, used to say; nothing is real unless it’s local. Here is a real local enterprise which brings together the whole community and helps young people growing up know something of their roots.

“I congratulate all those who have contributed to Mossley Heritage Centre and give special praise to Marie and Richard for their incredible service to the local community.”

The anniversary event included an opportunity to celebrate the very special achievements of founding members, Marie Clues and Richard Darlington. After helping to secure Longlands Mill as a base for Emmaus Mossley, Richard felt that one of the rooms in the mill could be turned into a space to celebrate the town’s industrial heritage.

Richard contacted Mossley Civic Society and established an immediate and long-lasting connection with Society member, Marie Clues. Together, the pair set in motion what was to become Mossley Industrial Heritage Centre, now named Mossley Heritage Centre.

Dyllis Wolinski, Secretary of Mossley Civic Society and volunteer at Mossley Heritage Centre, commented: “Both Richard and Marie have maintained their many and various roles over the last two decades to keep the Heritage Centre open. Their dedication is a tangible sign of their service to the community. We are incredibly grateful to them and were so glad that Terry was here to celebrate this special anniversary with them as guests of honour.”

For two decades, local volunteers have brought the town’s rich history to life within the Centre. The team have invested thousands of hours to compile information and artefacts, create engaging displays and educate visitors of all ages.

As well as local residents and school children, the Centre has welcomed visitors from further afield, keen to trace their family history or learn about Mossley’s contribution to the industrial revolution.

To learn more about Mossley Heritage Centre visit https://mossleyheritage.org/