VOLUNTEERS who support an historic Bolton hall are looking for members to breathe new life into the venue.

The Friends of Smithills Hall hope people will get involved in activities to support the grade I listed manor house.

There are currently about 126 members of the friends’ group but numbers are dwindling.

Housekeeper Ann Marie Elliott-Clark said: “The friends group has been going for probably more than 24 years. I’ve been a member for the last 10.

"We want to get more people to come and hopefully fall in love with the place like we all have.”

Membership is open to anyone who would like to learn more about the hall, its history and the families who lived there.

One of the oldest manor houses in the North West of England, some parts — including the Great Hall — date from the 15th century.

Mrs Elliott-Clark said: “We get members that are too old to be able to come any more, or, unfortunately, those who have died.

“We would also like to start family membership so people can join as a family.”

Members can attend social evenings, listen to talks and enjoy free admission to the hall as well as offer to steward at events, learn to be a guide and help raise funds to support the hall.

The group is also launching a coffee morning, to be held at 11am on the first Wednesday every month.

Mrs Elliott-Clark said: “It’s open to friends and anyone who lives within the area. I want to talk to people at the coffee morning to find out ideas of what we can do.”

For more information, phone 01204 338722.