IT was scene that would have made Fred Dibnah proud.

An impressive collection of 25 historic steam engines — four built in Bolton — restored to their former glory and running at full power.

Scores of enthusiasts from the North-west descended on the town to see the vintage engines in action at the Bolton Steam Museum in Mornington Road, Halliwell.

The museum opened its doors to the public on Saturday and Sunday.

Publicity officer David Lewis said: “There was a great turnout and we were quite surprised because it is the first time we have tried holding a New Year steaming day.

“It’s perhaps because it is a new year and people were looking for something to do in the school holidays.”

Run by the Northern Mill Engine Society, the museum has the largest collection of working textile-mill steam engines in the country.

The society has retrieved and restored 25 engines which once powered the cotton mills of Lancashire. The oldest engine is 170 years old and came from a factory in Wardle, Rochdale.

Three of the engines were built by John Musgrave and Sons, of Bolton.

The museum holds only a few open days every year because of the cost of running the engines and the building is still under construction.

The machines are run by a gas-powered boiler, which costs about £350 to run over two days.

The society recoups the cost through donations as entry to the museum is free of charge.

For more information visit the website