A HERITAGE group will launch a new museum with an action-packed exhibition.

Hyndburn Heritage and Community Group is holding an interactive display in Accrington Market Hall ahead of a bid to find their own permanent home.

After months of appealing for articles of interest to be donated, the group now has displays of Victorian Accrington, the First World War, the interwar period and the Second World War.

The group says it has received items as diverse as a Howard and Bullough paperweight, a Mickey Mouse branded gas mask, a 100 year-old christening robe and one of the first electric washing machines.

Angela Fryatt from the group said: “These items, along with many others represent our community’s past way of life.

It’s an amazing chance to see our cultural and industrial heritage preserved and publicly celebrated.

“We also believe it is paramount that this is a ‘living’ museum’ where the public can enjoy a ‘hands-on’ experience, so we have a host of activities in which visitors can take part.”

Volunteer Tim Hawkins has refurbished a 1920s Pioneer Goliath mangle, made at Accrington’s Whittaker Brothers Works, so visitors can try their hand at an old-fashioned wash day.

Other activities include the Tile Trail, Name the Victorian lady and Doing our bit on the Home Front, 1939-1945.

The group has also been loaned, especially for its opening celebrations, a 1943 armoured scout veh-icle which will be parked outside the Market Hall for the launch on Saturday.

The group, which would need thousands of pounds a year to lease a town centre base, is hoping to attract a business sponsor and will be taking donations from the public.

The museum’s launch on Saturday will be opened by Mayor of Hyndburn Colette McCormack.

The exhibition will be on view next week between 10am and 4pm from Tuesday.

For information contact Angela Fryatt on 07931 484 971 or email angela.fryatt@hyndburn heritage.co.uk.