THE fascinating history of a firm based in one of Darwen’s most iconic buildings will be revealed throughout next week as part of a series of heritage open days.

Ritheron, based in Darwen Tram Shed, will be hosting a series of guided tours of the factory which will give visitors the chance to see inside the building and to discover how Darwen is playing a key role in the drive towards carbon neutral transport.

Established in Bolton in 1895, Ritheron moved into the former tram depot immediately after the Second World War.

The company specialises in making cabinets and enclosures for electrical components used around the world in everything from fuse boxes to street lighting and to solar energy farms. More recently Ritheron enclosures are being used at charging points for electric vehicles across the UK by the likes of McDonald’s and Costa Coffee at their drive through outlets.

The contrast between the metal fabricators hi-tech business and their own long history and that of their premises makes a fascinating contrast.

Sales administration manager, Daniela Romano, said: “We took part in the Heritage Open Days in 2018 and it proved a great success. We will be offering guided tours of the factor all week and we will have items from the archive on display.”

Visitors will get the chance to see the original track tracks which have been left in the factory floor from the days when the building was home to Darwen’s fleet of trams.

Ritheron has also been working with artist in residence Nicola Ellis who has been taking waste products and creating stunning artworks from them. This collaboration first began during the National Festival of Making and has continued ever since.

Visitors will have the chance to see some of Nicola’s work and will also learn more about the family firm’s connections to the world of magic and the music hall.

The company’s founder Percy Ritherdon worked closely with top illusionist Chung Ling Soo at the turn of the century with select workers creating the precisely engineered cabinets required for some of his most famous illusions.

There will be factory tours at 11am and 2pm Monday to Friday. Email to book. The week ends with a family fun day next Saturday in aid of Child Action North West.