Petition to keep Red House open gets 1,000 signatures in a week

Picture by Allan McKenzie.
Picture by Allan McKenzie.

A petition to save Red House Museum in Gomersal has reached more than 1,000 signatures in a week.

Under Kirklees Council budget plans the historic home faces the axe.

Friends of Red House member Ruth Yates said a petition which was created online and handed out in shops last week has been signed by 1,457 people.

“In a week that’s really good going. We really wanted to say a big thank you to the people of Gomersal,” she said.

“We hope that it will help to keep Red House open.”

Kirklees Council currently owns six museums and heritage sites: Dewsbury Museum, Bagshaw Museum in Batley, Tolson Museum in Huddersfield, Huddersfield Art Gallery, Oakwell Hall and Country Park in Birstall and Red House in Gomersal.

But as government funds have been withdrawn, the council needs to save £351,000 from its museums budget by next April. Red House and Dewsbury Museum in Crow Nest Park both face the axe.

The petition reads: “Red House is the only example open to the public of a yeoman clothier’s family house and workplace, complete with outbuildings and historic, award-winning gardens.

“It was owned and run by the Taylor family for 400 years, who made a substantial contribution to the area’s textile industry.

“The family even ran their own bank from Red House for a little while.

“Charlotte Brontë was a close friend of Mary Taylor, and featured the family as the Yorkes, and Red House as ‘Briarmains’ in her novel ‘Shirley. “Considering these close links it is very sad that Kirklees Council has made this announcement when we are celebrating the 200th anniversary of Charlotte’s birth.”

People can sign the petition online until July 21 at www.kirklees.gov.uk/petitions

Public consultation over the plans runs until Sunday. Visit www.kirkleestalk.org/index.php/get-involved/lets-talk-about-museums/