A BLANKET featuring the faces of The Beatles is among the exhibits in a new display showcasing the stories of Witney's famous blanket industry.

The Witney and District Museum is celebrating the town's relationship with blankets as it reopens for the season.

The entire top floor of the building on Gloucester Mews, off Witney High Street, is dedicated to the industry's 350-year history in the town.

Several businesses were invited to a private viewing of the exhibition on Friday, as part of the museum's aim to build links with companies in the community.

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More volunteers are needed to help run the museum and Kath Wondrak, one of the current nine-strong committee, hopes more people can help them safeguard the town's history.

She said: "If we don't have the volunteers we're in danger of closing down.

"It's really important to have the museum.

"We've got a lot of archives here, plus even more in storage.

"Most of the items we've got on display is owned by the museum and if this isn't kept open then most of it will end up in storage and nobody will ever get the chance to see it."

The ground floor of the museum features several other aspects of Witney's past, including the Wychwood Brewery, the fire station and the 776-year-old St Mary's Church.

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Meanwhile, the top floor tells the story of Witney's blanket and glove industries.

The specially-made Beatles blanket is one of the star attractions, but Witney had been famous for the industry for hundreds of years before that was created in the 1960s.

The River Windrush was a key part of this, with the water used to make the high-quality cloth.

Four blanket factories operated seven mills after the Second World War, but this came to a sudden end with the closure of the largest blanket-maker, Early's, in 2002.

Ms Wondrak added that the museum's importance is shown by the range of people who visit to learn about the town's history.

She said: "A third of our visitors are from Witney, a third are from overseas and the other third are families of people who live in the town."

Witney and District Museum is open until October.