A MUSEUM filled with restored steam engines from the North of England's industrial past is set to throw open its doors to the public.

Bolton Steam Museum is operated entirely by volunteers who welcome visitors each bank holiday weekend for Steam Days to show off their collection of 30 reconditioned engines, rescued from sites across the region.

It is set to open again this weekend on Sunday and Monday between 10am and 4pm, entry is free, although donations are appreciated.

The institution is located at a former cotton warehouse close to Morrisons in Mornington Road, Heaton, which used to be part of a much larger site at Atlas Mills.

The building has been extensively restored by members of the Northern Mill Engine Society after the group was told it would have to move from its former home in another part of the mills complex when Morrisons bought the land in 1990.

It now houses the society's collection of working engines, including an enormous beam engine which weighs 40 tons and an extremely rare twin-beam engine which dates back to 1840.

Following the last museum opening, earlier this month, Neil Carney, chairman of the group, voiced his pleasure at the turnout after hundreds of people visited the museum.

"All of our engines are unique in their own way," Mr Carney said.

"This whole place is the work of volunteers and we never have any detrimental reports, people are always complimentary about what we've done here."

During Steam Days, the majority of these engines will be available to watch in action, adding to the impressive sight and sound of the mill building filled with tonnes of working equipment.

Most of the engines is this collection are well over 100 years old and showcase the changing face of industrial society as larger, more powerful pieces of equipment were created to improve productivity and efficiency.

Other interesting pieces on display include a small engine 'Caroline' that used to drive Fred Dibnah’s workshop. It was named after Fred’s youngest child.

The site has an extensive history too, the mills in Bolton were, in their heyday, one of the largest concentrations of cotton spinning capacity on one site in the country, with over 400,000 spindles in use and employing 2,000 staff to operate them.

Anyone interested in attending a steam day to see some of the engines at work, should visit: www.nmes.org.

Alternatively, contact society secretary John Phillp on 01257 265003 or john.phillp@blueyonder.co.uk.