I received a letter today from Ian Pearson, M.P., advising that on Friday 13 February he had a "positive meeting" with David Caunt, the Leader of Dudley Council, at which they discussed the BH glass collection. Ian says that David informed him that "he [David] wants to look at opportunities to enhance the museum service in the Borough and that there may be opportunities to develop the Red House Cone site, so that more of the collection could be shown there than is currently at BH."
Ian attached a copy of a letter from David Caunt to Ian Pearson, which Ian says, "helpfully indicates that the proposed feasibility study will involve those who have contacted the Council on this matter." Ian further states, "I will want to be sure that the current staff and facilities at Broadfield House are retained as they are at present, but am prepared to have an open mind on whether in the future something even better could be developed at the Cone which would strengthen the international reputation we have for glass."
The letter from David Caunt states,
"It has been well known for a number of years that Broadfield House is far too small and we are only able to display about 20% of the glass collection. You may remember the project to convert Himley Hall into a national glass museum that only failed as it did not stack up financially. The Council attempted to purchase the site of Stuart Crystal, opposite the Red House Cone, but for reasons that I explained to you, we failed.
"The current suggestion is that we use the present opportunity to enhance the facilities at the Cone so that a greater percentage of the collection is on view alongside the historic cone and develop an enhanced museum service based in the heart of the historic glass quarter. I have been assured that the forthcoming feasibility study will involve all those who contacted the Council recently."
Nowhere in either letter does it indicate why the attempt to purchase the old Stuart site failed, or when this was (recently? years ago?)
Interesting that the figure quoted by David Caunt is that BH can only display 20% of the collection... yet the RHC site is smaller, so surely that means that even less than 20% can be displayed there... or am I missing something....?!