- Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
- United Kingdom
After months of persistent campaigning Dudley Council has been forced to scrap plans to close Broadfield House Glass Museum and relocate its collections and archives.
Thanks to everyone who signed our petition and supported the campaign to prevent the closure of Broadfield House Glass Museum.
On the 5th January 2009 the staff of Broadfield House were told that Dudley Council is proposing to close Broadfield House Glass Museum and move its collections and research resources to The Red House Cone site, as from March 2010.
At present the Red House Cone has neither enough exhibition space, nor adequate lecture space. The proposed move to the Red House Cone would result in the museum's research materials, library and collections being hidden away from public view. Consequently the owners of the loan collections (which include the Friends of Broadfield House) may well want their glass to be returned. Furthermore, there is already a large amount of glass in store at Broadfield House (and at Himley Hall) which is not displayed!
It would be a major loss for glass researchers, makers, enthusiasts and collectors if the important resources of Broadfield House were to be made unavailable. As one of the “major” glass attractions bringing visitors to Stourbridge, it would also be a loss to Dudley Council. The museum's repository of major glass collections, especially of 20th century glass from the Stourbridge area, is also of significant international importance.
In view of the above, The Glass Association is campaigning to stop this move unless and until the Red House Cone site is fully able to exhibit (as a minimum) the collections that are currently displayed at Broadfield. The Red House Cone must also be able to provide adequate facilities to house Broadfield House’s research materials. Both the collections and the research materials need to be readily accessible and ideally new lecture facilities should also be created.
The Friends of Broadfield House, The Glass Association and The Glass Circle would fully support the move if it were to improve and enhance the Broadfield Museum experience. However, it has been said that the only way Dudley Council can save money is to close Broadfield House down completely and either box up the collection for posterity, or sell it! If this were to happen the Council would be guilty of losing a huge piece of the area's glass heritage.
Any premature decision which may lead to the loss or the reduction of the facilities held at Broadfield House would be a national disgrace.
No change should proceed without full consultation on the financial and practical considerations of a move.