THE grand opening of a vintage tea room has breathed new life into a community facility.
The tea room at Horden Colliery Heritage Centre was opened by Alderman Ada Naisbett, who served on Easington District Council for 36 years.
Thanks to the efforts of volunteers and donations from a number of businesses, an empty room in the heritage centre has been reinvigorated.
Jane Bentham, secretary at the centre, revealed that idea for the tea room came over fears people would ignore the centre when seeing the empty room downstairs.
Upstairs is a museum providing information of the history of the village and the former pit, themed rooms from the 1900s and archive photographs and memorabilia.
She said: “I thought no-one would know the museum was open upstairs so we asked the Horden Parish Council if we could take it over ourselves and they accepted.
“The museum has information all about the mining pit and areas, there is 1900s themed rooms, and archive photos.”
Staff at the heritage centre gave visitors a taste of what is to come, serving up hot drinks and cream teas at an event to launch the new facility.
She added: “It was a fantastic day, lots of people came along and we had special prizes, like little cakes, for the children who came along.
“It was really lovely and the location in Welfare Park is fantastic.”
She said: “We had a lot of people who donated and we want to thank Accent, Horden Parish Council, Summersigns, Plants R Ross Garden Centre, In 2 Stitches, Homecare DIY Centre, Asda and Horden Catholic Club.
“We also want to send a big thank you to all the local volunteers who gave their time to make this grand event.”
The tea room is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11am-2pm, while the museum is open from 10.30am-3pm.
It will also be open on weekends when there are special events being held in Welfare Park, such as teddy bear picnics.