IN an historical moment for Radcliffe, the old East Lancashire Paper Mill gates will be officially opened at their new home in Festival Gardens.

Visitors to the gardens this Saturday will celebrate the long-awaited opening of the gates, which thousands of mill workers from Radcliffe and surrounding areas have passed through over the years.

The unveiling is a huge victory for David Kerwin, whose family history at the mill spans some 350 years of employment.

Mr Kerwin, chairman of Radcliffe Heritage Society, said: "Some five years ago, I drove past what was the East Lancashire Paper Mill and our old house, and to my surprise, found the gates to the mill still standing.

"I decided we needed to save them and thought the ideal place would be Festival Gardens.

"So many emails and phone calls later, they stand very proudly on the roundabout in the middle.

"And with the gardens taking their name from the Festival of Britain in 1951, I thought it was most suitable."

The opening ceremony will commence at 2pm on Saturday, July 21, with Radcliffe Brass Band performing from 1.50pm.

Carol Jenkins, of Radcliffe Heritage Society, will give an introductory welcome before inviting the Mayor of Bury, Cllr Jane Black to speak.

Other speeches will be given by the former operations director at ELPM, Terry Coffey, the president of the Rotary Club of Radcliffe, Ken Kerr, and Mr Kerwin.

The event is estimated to finish at about 3pm.