IT’S the first time that the market town of Kirkby Lonsdale has appointed its own volunteer town guides.

The town has trained five town guides to lead free walking tours around the locality.

This project was jointly funded by the town’s Community Interest Company and the Town Council.

The walks will encompass stories of local people from the past, portrayed in the new ‘Vault’ film show in the Information and Gift Shop.

Training started in July with each guide undergoing forty hours of tuition.

The guides graduated in a ceremony at the town’s Royal Barn last Wednesday.

Janet Nuttall, the Town Tourism Manager said:“The initiative is an example of a town working together to enhance the visitor experience and help keep the high street buzzing. From 2020 we will be meeting coaches and taking the stories of the Vault out onto the street.”

Debs Hawkins, one of the new volunteer guides, said it has been a interesting journey: “We’ve trained all summer to become town guides, picking up little bits of social history and information and stories like magpies. I am now looking forward to showing our visitors the stories of the vault and sharing the Kirkby Lonsdale secrets.”