Author Topic: Broadfield House to Close  (Read 89465 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Oxbridge Fairs

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 41
Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2009, 01:28:34 AM »
Here's another link to a page on the local BBC website: www.bbc.co.uk/blackcountry/content/articles/2009/01/15/broadfield_house_feature.shtml

We understand that Allister Malcolm is looking for new premises.

(http://i545.photobucket.com/albums/hh381/OxbridgeFairs/GMBbanner1forweb-1.jpg)
www.glassassociation.co.uk

http://www.glassfairs.co.uk
The original specialist glass fair.

http://www.cambridgeglassfair.com
Three hundred years of glass in one day.

http://www.circaglass.co.uk
Decorative and collectable twentieth century glass.


Offline David E

  • Author
  • Members
  • ***
  • Posts: 3342
    • ChanceGlass.net
Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2009, 11:15:19 AM »
Quote from: Anne
So they intend to close BH to save £120,000 a year.

I understand the figure is closer to £140k but, as Anne points out, this is still a miniscule amount compared to what the council probably spend on 'jollies' for 'fact-finding' ventures around the world...
David
► The Curious History of the Bulb Vase ◄
 A new book by Patricia Coccoris

Contact ► Cortex Design ◄ to order any book


Offline Anne

  • GMB Tech Support Manager & "Board (never bored) Dame"
  • Global Moderator
  • Members
  • *
  • Posts: 11077
  • Gender: Female
  • I has a stick to poke the server with yes!
    • Glass trinket sets
    • Cumbria England
    • ALAVNA Vintage & Collectable Glass
Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2009, 04:58:30 PM »
I've had an acknowledgement from David Blood this morning, and he passed my email onto John Sanders of the Friends of Broadfield House who has also replied and sent me a copy of his letter to David Blood which states the current position from the Friends viewpoint. 

In his email to me, John Sanders says:
Quote
The proposed saving for the Council, if the Museum is closed with effect from 1 April 2010, is estimated at £120,000 annually. There has been no evidence to show how that figure is reached. The closure proposals do not originate from Councillors, they originate from Council officials who have offered no evidence of how much it would cost the Council to establish Museum facilities to accommodate the Broadfield House operation on the Red House Cone site.

The Council of the Friends of Broadfield House Glass Museum meet on Monday evening, 19 January, when the situation and immediate plans will be formulated.

If you wish to add your voice further, may I invite you to take up membership of the Friends.

For as many glass enthusiasts to do this as quickly as possible would make sense as it will strengthen the Friends' voice when dealing with the council. Currently the Friends have around 300 members who are spread around the world. If we can boost that number I am sure it will help the Friends. Membership is not expensive (£6 per year) - see this page for more about the Friends and an application form at the bottom: PAGE LINK

I have asked John for his permission to share the contents of the letter with the board, and will update this when a reply is received from him.

John also said in his email:

Quote
If you wish to make further representations at Councillor level you may wish to lobby Cllr. Karen Shakespeare the cabinet member for environment and culture who was involved in the 7 January cabinet meeting which endorsed the budget proposals which would result in the closure of BHGM.    Her contact details are on the Dudley MBC web site.

I think such an approach may help as well.


Offline nigel benson

  • Author
  • Members
  • ***
  • Posts: 1043
  • Gender: Male
  • British glass 1870-1980
    • British glass 1870-1980
    • http://www.20thcentury-glass.org.uk
Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2009, 11:41:45 PM »
This is what I wrote to the BBC link, and a copy to David Blood, and the local paper.

"For many years the best glass museum in the country, Broadfield House Glass Museum, has needed a larger site in order to display its collections and those that are own loan to it. For various reasons Himley Hall was rejected as an idea by Dudley Council. Now, rather than keeping the status quo, the museum has been targeted as a means of cost cutting for the borough. NO cost benefit analysis has been done, NOR any feasibility study. Instead, it would appear that someone has had the idea that vacating the current premises in favour of moving to smaller premises, could save money. If this happens, not only will it be difficult to maintain current services, it is highly unlikely that the collections will have enough space to be stored in, let alone be displayed.

Last year, visitor numbers went up from 11,000 to 15,000, totally bucking the trend in museums across the country. It would seem that no account of this has been taken. Importantly, in the current economic climate, where it would seem that many more people are proposing to holiday in this country, no account or thought appears to have been given toward gaining important revenue to help the income of the counsellors’ own electors. Even the idea of selling the Broadfield House building seems ill thought out, since pretty well the whole country is aware of the downturn in property values.

As for the move itself you’re NOT talking normal move prices like when moving home – expensive though that can be. Moving the collections (particularly of a fragile nature), back-up office space, current storage, and display cases (those that can be moved) all requires specialist operatives. Old display cases may not fit, so new will be required; the same will be true of information boards.

All-in-all one wonders about why counsellors see this as a good move. Well, sacking some of the staff will of course be the soft option if comparing their situation with other council workers and will give an ongoing yearly saving. There may be a gain from the sale of the building, but will it only be marginal? Quite possibly.

Surely, now is NOT the time to move a successful national glass museum? Now should be the time to consolidate on the work of the museum and raise its profile helping to keep, and possibly create, work in the area. This museum is a highly important record to the industry that is indigenous to the area, as well as holding the most comprehensive and diverse collections of British glass in the country. The threat of its move may also threaten the collections that are on permanent loan – presumably loaned originally providing they were out on display. No other museum would seem a likely candidate to hold these collections, so it is likely that we will also be deprived of having access to a large number of exhibits that will no longer be available and are not held elsewhere.

Now should be the time of raising Broadfield House Glass Museum’s profile, not of sweeping it into a corner elsewhere. The council and/or its representatives should look into obtaining extra funding, perhaps by getting Designated Museum Standing which might allow access to national funding.

I have been visiting the museum for about 21 years and see this as a totally retrograde step by the council. Maybe I’m being cynical, but, it’s easier to go for downsizing than to work for extra funding – it’s certainly easier to plicate other council workers and the electorate by closing or downsizing what might be seen as a luxury by some local counsellors. Perhaps I’m also being cynical when I ask why, apparently, has nobody checked the floor space involved in each case, surely that is rudimentary to whether the move could be even be feasible?"




Offline simon bruntnell

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Simon Bruntnell Freelance Photographer
    • United Kingdom
    • www.northlightphotography.co.uk
Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #44 on: January 19, 2009, 12:40:15 PM »
Hello all just skimmed though the texts and what a shock I had this news last week but was waiting to hear what Alistair Maclombe said (artist at BH) Talk about cultural vandalism.
Just to let people also know, that the proposed development for the Ruskin Glass Centre has also been put on hold last week by the Learning Skills Council. They have put a hold on all
funding for three months for all projects. So they have halted all the match funding so nothing can go ahead.  We the businesses where supposed to moving off site in April/May time but we
have been told to stand down till  at least this time next year, because of all mess this will have caused. I believe a couple of heads had rolled before Christmas at Dudley council because of a 10 million
short fall. £120,000 that's probably one executive isn't it. I think the sword should be swung towards the bureaucrats and dead wood that seems to endemic within our councils and local government? 
Simon Bruntnell (photographer to the Poor & Infamous)


Offline simon bruntnell

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Simon Bruntnell Freelance Photographer
    • United Kingdom
    • www.northlightphotography.co.uk
Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #45 on: January 19, 2009, 04:07:44 PM »
I have been informed that Waterford's are moving out of old 'Stuarts Red house cone' and the Broadfield collection will be moved there.
Simon Bruntnell (photographer to the Poor & Infamous)


Offline David E

  • Author
  • Members
  • ***
  • Posts: 3342
    • ChanceGlass.net
Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #46 on: January 21, 2009, 06:21:09 PM »
Probably going for the record of one of the longest posts ever :-\ the following will nevertheless be of interest.

Further to my query on the proposed closure of Broadfield House, I have now received the following communication from Sandra Sakalas (PA to Assistant Director Culture and Leisure Services) on behalf of Duncan Lowndes, at Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.

Firstly, my initial query was:

Quote from: David E
It has come to my attention that there is a proposal to close down Broadfield House. This is very disturbing news, although I am unaware to the fate of the Glass Museum.
 
Having spent time researching the archives at Himley Hall for my book, Chance Expressions, and knowing the excellent facilities at Broadfield House, the loss of this resource would be a tragedy.
 
However, is the Glass museum itself to close? I heard a rumour that it could be re-sited at the Red House Glass Cone, which raises more questions: "where" in the Cone would this be possible?! Also, the Cone is leased from the Waterford Wedgwood group, which itself is in difficulties.
 
Lastly, it is worth bearing in mind that Broadfield House Glass Museum is the NATIONAL Glass Museum, and is a resource to benefit the entire United Kingdom (and the international community), and not just limited to Stourbridge glass. As such I feel the proposal must be rejected.

After this was forwarded to Broadfield House, I followed this with:

Quote from: David E
Dear Sir/Madam,
 
The point of my comments was to raise awareness among those responsible for wishing to 'close' Broadfield House, and that such action could cause the loss of an extremely valuable resource!
 
There was little point, therefore, in passing my comments onto Broadfield House, when I have already communicated with Roger Dodsworth. What is disconcerting is the thought that this is being considered in the first place, and the lack of information regarding the inevitable problems that this closure raises - what is happening to the Glass Museum: the collections, the archives, etc? These highly pertinent questions need answering before a move is even considered.
 
If the Red House Glass Cone is being considered as a possible location, then this has serious flaws: lack of space, the land is leased from a company which is going into administration - in all likelihood the adminstrators will choose to sell this asset. So what exactly is the plan of action?
 
I would be grateful if my comments could be forwarded to whichever committee is responsible for even considering this dubious action in the first place.
 
With thanks.

Mr Lowndes reply, via his PA, is as follows:

Quote from: Duncan Lowndes
Mr D Encill

21 January 2009

Dear Mr Encill

Broadfield House Glass Museum

Further to your e-mail of 15 January 2009 to the Council regarding the above.

The background to the issue relates to both the Council’s aspiration to amalgamate its Glass Heritage facilities on one site (Red House Cone) and a challenging financial climate.

As the Assistant Director responsible for Culture and Leisure Services I am well aware of the place of glass in the heritage of the Borough and would not wish to do anything that was detrimental to that.

To this end I and my officers have been tasked to undertake feasibility work in terms of how we could bring the collections and services that are currently split over 2 sites, under the one roof.

I am well aware as to the size of this challenge, that it may cost initially to bring this about and that the time frame that has been set for achieving this may be difficult to meet but we have been tasked to report back in the near future to Elected Members and appropriate Committees.

The Council has a 99 year lease on its part of the Red House Cone site so we have security there and the possibility of acquiring additional land and buildings will be explored as part of this process.

I know from meetings with the Friends of Broadfield House that there is much concern over this issue and have assured them that they will be involved in and advised of developments in this process throughout.

Yours sincerely
 
Duncan Lowndes
Assistant Director Culture and Leisure

I have my membership form filled, and a £6 cheque (yup, that's all) made out to The Friends of Broadfield House Glass Museum at the address below. I strongly urge others to follow suit as this organisation is better placed than any other, to put pressure on those people who are involved with this proposal.

Hon. Membership Secretary
Friends of Broadfield House
c/o Broadfield House Glass Museum
Compton Drive
Kingswinford
West Midlands
DY6 9NS
David
► The Curious History of the Bulb Vase ◄
 A new book by Patricia Coccoris

Contact ► Cortex Design ◄ to order any book


Offline nigel benson

  • Author
  • Members
  • ***
  • Posts: 1043
  • Gender: Male
  • British glass 1870-1980
    • British glass 1870-1980
    • http://www.20thcentury-glass.org.uk
Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #47 on: January 22, 2009, 01:47:20 AM »
David,

Thanks very much for that. I have always meant to join the friends and kept putting it to the back of my mind - I shall activate that in the morning :)

As for the placatory letter you received - were you?

Let's be vague, if the run around fails......... :( "In the near future", so, they have no sense of a time scale - really?

The more I hear the more frustrated I get. Such wonderful joined up thinking :o with implied promises....Urrgh :huh:

Nigel



Offline aa

  • Glass Professional
  • Members
  • ***
  • Posts: 1777
    • http://www.adamaaronson.com
Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #48 on: January 22, 2009, 08:31:25 AM »
I too sent off my cheque to the Friends on Monday, stimulated by this thread, so let's hope we can boost the friends membership exponentially. As David says, is only £6, seems very good value. :)
Hello & Welcome to the Board! Sometimes my replies are short & succinct, other times lengthy. Apologies in advance if they are not to your satisfaction; my main concern is to be accurate for posterity & to share my limited knowledge
For information on exhibitions & events and to see images of my new work join my Facebook group
https://www.facebook.com/adamaaronsonglass
Introduction to Glassblowing course:a great way to spend an afternoon http://www.zestgallery.com/glass.


Offline David E

  • Author
  • Members
  • ***
  • Posts: 3342
    • ChanceGlass.net
Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #49 on: January 22, 2009, 08:57:15 AM »
Thanks very much for that. I have always meant to join the friends and kept putting it to the back of my mind - I shall activate that in the morning :)

As for the placatory letter you received - were you?

No, not really – I appreciate that it might not be the intention to close Broadfield down entirely, but the lack of detail and forethought is worrying. I followed this up last night with:

Quote from: David E
Dear Sandra,
 
Many thanks for the prompt response. I am slightly more assured by Mr Lowndes comments, although I also understand the saving per annum is a mere £120k (or £140k depending on who one listens to), which is small beer compared with other ways costs could be saved.
 
I did also hear that if such a proposal were implemented, Kari Moodie and John Smith would not be keeping their current posts: again, rather disturbing news if true.
 
Is it also true that the museum has realised an increase in visitor numbers for the last year, from 11,000 to 15,000?
 
Lastly, and not wishing to take up your valuable time, 2010 is the 400th anniversary of glassmaking in Stourbridge. Is it not rather poignant that such a move/closure is being proposed to coincide with the epic milestone?

I think 'poignant' was probably the wrong word, but it had been a rather busy day... For those not in the know, Kari and John are full-time employees at Broadfield doing sterling work, and losing their expertise is equally unpalatable.

Addendum to Adam's comment: The Friends also accept Family membership at just £9 per annum and Corporate at £25 pa.
David
► The Curious History of the Bulb Vase ◄
 A new book by Patricia Coccoris

Contact ► Cortex Design ◄ to order any book

 

This Website is provided by Angela Bowey, PO Box 113, Paihia 0247, New Zealand