MORE than 100 people turned out to see two unique steam engines running at a mill as part of heritage weekend.

The two-day event in Gillians Lane, Barnoldswick saw the public unveiling of Bancroft Mill's 350HP Smith Bros & Eastwood engine.

It was running in steam for the first time since it was rescued many years ago from a mill at Bradley near Skipton - and the unveiling marked the culmination of a project involving thousands of hours of volunteer effort.

The engine, originally built for Cross Lane Mill, Bradley, in 1901, was restarted in a private event on Friday, which was attended by the Mayor of Pendle Cllr David Whalley and Mayoress of Pendle Barbara Whalley and Pendle's MP Andrew Stephenson.

While the magnificent 650HP Roberts steam engine, East Lancashire's largest steam engine, was also on show.

Tony Nixon, treasurer at Bancroft Mill Engine Trust, said: "The 350HP engine powered the mill until it closed in 1978.

" In 2003 the engine was rescued by a steam enthusiast before the former mill was converted to flats, and the engine was stored, in many pieces, at Bancroft Mill

"Over the last ten years our volunteers have worked tirelessly to rebuild and restore the engine which has stood still for 39 years.

"The event on Friday was a celebration of thousands of man-hours of effort that have been expended in the process."

While around 150 people attended the event on Saturday and Sunday and visitors could also sample the tea room and a gift shop at the mill, which sold unique souvenirs including tea towels woven on the mill's own loom.

There was also a large collection of model steam engines, a historic site to explore and guided tours which took place.

Mr Nixon added: "The public event also went very well and we anticipate that around 100-150 people attended.

"We had some youngsters attend who had the chance to start the Roberts engine.

"The weather was very wet and drizzly but it didn't dampen spirits."

The event comes as the future of the trust, including its 650HP Roberts steam engine, is under threat due to ‘swingeing’ highways drainage charges of over a thousand pounds.

Water Plus said it will continue to work with the trust to help spread the charges.