New heritage centre and tea rooms open

The redecorated tea room at the visitor centre
The redecorated tea rooms at the visitor centre

Jimmy Cricket recently attended the press launch of the new Healey Dell Heritage centre and tea rooms near to where he lives in Rochdale.

The famous Irish entertainer was invited to the opening event by Janice Percy, who had teamed up with a friend to save the centre when she heard Rochdale Council no longer wanted to keep it open.

Jimmy with Lorraine, one of the centre’s volunteers
Jimmy with Lorraine, one of the centre’s volunteers

Jimmy did not need to think twice about going because when he is not working he often goes walking in Healey Dell, as he lives on the edge of this nature reserve.

Last December Janice and her partnership took on the lease of the building and set about raising around £25,000 for its refurbishment.

She also started to look for volunteers who would help the project get off the ground.

Janice and her team have now revived the old building and have created the following:

The exterior of the building - the fairy is there in preparation for the children’s Easter activities!
Outside the centre – the fairy is there in preparation for the children’s Easter activities!
  • A heritage room – An all-year-round exhibition dedicated to the rich heritage of the nature reserve
  • Dedicated gallery space to showcase the work of local artists and photographers
  • A vintage style tea room featuring a baby grand piano and six sparkling crystal chandeliers where visitors will enjoy traditional cream teas served from vintage bone china
  • Newly converted disabled facilities/wheelchair access and disabled toilet and washroom

The centre reopened on the Thursday before the Easter weekend and  the tea rooms will now open every Saturday and Sunday over the summer season. The centre is run entirely by unpaid volunteers.

Jimmy with the Rochdale-based actor Colin Meredith, who recently appeared on Coronation Street
Jimmy with the Rochdale-based actor Colin Meredith, who recently appeared on Coronation Street

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