Author Topic: Broadfield House to Close  (Read 112775 times)

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Offline nigel benson

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #60 on: January 22, 2009, 05:41:10 PM »
                                       YOUR voice counts

I understand your sensibilities regarding the email addresses, David, however that information is already in the public domain and this thread will be taken down in due course.

I notice that the live email links have been disabled, which will help, as Anne says, not to allow the spambots access to them.

We are now at a critical time as far as disseminating information is concerned. No dedicated appeal/protest website where people can access this information has been set up, and time is of the essence. Therefore, better here than nowhere.

You are quite correct in saying that ill thought out petitions could be effectively a waste of time, but time is the one thing we do not have on our side. The council needs to be aware of the strength of feeling in the glass world as well as understanding the importance of the collections that are being held at Broadfield House.

It would seem that the way it is likely to work is that the meeting in February will rubber stamp an idea that has had NO feasibility study into the impact on the museum, its visitor numbers, or local business, let alone whether the space constraints will allow such a move. NO cost benefit analysis has been done, so the end result may be that the area losses money in excess of the savings being made - with all that that might entail affecting council income (rates, council tax, etc.)

The decision is basically a knee-jerk reaction to the need for cost cutting WITHOUT any real thought going into the matter.

Whilst I have some sympathy for councillors making decisions it behoves them to make informed ones based on facts and figures - which in this case, it seems, are completely absent.

We need as many people to make representation to the powers that be in order that they can begin to understand what a poor idea this is - poor in the sense that it will reduce the cultural significance of the area, and poor in that local businesses could well be affected by the proposal.

It occurs to me that the centralising of the collections with the Red House Cone has, on the face of it, perfect synergy however, not only will there be an insufficiency of space, but by placing two attractions on one site one can get the hell out of Stourbridge as soon as you been around that particular attraction - instead of taking time to go around a number of attractions (Broadfield House Glass Museum, The Black Country Museum, The Ruskin Centre, The Red House, The Bilston Craft Gallery which has occasional glass exhibitions, and other local attractions). Wouldn't it be a better course of action to attract people to a large number of places by linking them in tourist information, promotional material, etc?

In other words a good glass museum, with enough space for displaying collections, acts as a big attraction to visit the area.

What about the links between museums and education? Has that been explored to best effect? School curriculems specify links and I wonder how far that has been explored.

Please, everybody out there, write, email, telephone the people who going to make this decision and make your point. It doesn't have to include everything, just things you feel strongly about. If you have any thoughts, or you wish the collections to stay at Broadfield House because of the space problems at The Red Cone, say something here, especially if you feel you can't elsewhere. Preferably do both (Oh! -and use your name).

We have very little time, and a lot to achieve.

Many, many thanks, Nigel

Offline pamela

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #61 on: January 22, 2009, 06:30:10 PM »
visited Broadfield House during my stay in November 2008 and made the acquaintance with all those lovely people there! I was received in a very friendly atmosphere and can only report all the best! Would have been prepared to pay for the entry -why not? JMHO - Red Cone is unprepared for such a great collection  :mus:
Die Erfahrung lehrt, dass, wer auf irgendeinem Gebiet zu sammeln anfängt, eine Wandlung in seiner Seele anheben spürt. Er wird ein freudiger Mensch, den eine tiefere Teilnahme erfüllt, und ein offeneres Verständnis für die Dinge dieser Welt bewegt seine Seele.
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Offline yelooc

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #62 on: January 22, 2009, 07:03:24 PM »
Battle begins to save Kingswinford museum
10:10am Thursday 22nd January 2009

" BATTLE lines are being drawn in the fight to save Kingswinford's world famous glass museum from council closure. Outrage about plan’s to shut the Broadfield House site has united campaigners across the political divide, who say the tourist attraction must remain open. Dudley South’s Labour MP, Ian Pearson, threw his support behind the campaign to stop closure of the centre and moving its collection to Wordsley's Red House Glass Cone.

Mr Pearson said: "Closing Broadfield House and moving its collection would do considerable damage to the borough's deserved reputation as an internationally important centre for the study and appreciation of glass. The Red House Cone is a fantastic site, but so is Broadfield House. I will be putting all the pressure I can on the council to reconsider this ill-conceived budget cut."

Kingswinford South Tory councillor David Blood also vowed to oppose the closure plan, which the council's cabinet has already approved as part of this year's budget proposals to save borough museums ÂŁ120,000 a year.

Cllr Blood told Dudley Council's select committee on regeneration, culture and adult education "there would be uproar at even the thought of the closure" of the Compton Drive museum - which houses one of the finest glass archives in the country.

He added: "To move Broadfield House's collection to Stuart Crystal would be a major calamity. I don't think my residents would ever forgive me if I went along with it."

Dudley Council looks set to approve the closure on March 2, two days before the next select committee meeting to discuss the plan. The Friends of Broadfield House met with council officials on Tuesday January 20 to call for a delay in the closure, planned for March 2010, while a new centre to house the collection is built.

Barbara Beadman, chairman of the Friends group, said: “They seem to have lost the plot in terms of our glass heritage. I don’t think the decision should be made, It would be a travesty if it is. Councillors havn’t been informed, if they do go ahead they should immediately have a meeting to make amendments.”

A council spokesman said: "As outlined in the select committee agenda, it is proposed that feasibility work will be undertaken on the practicalities of transferring the services and collections provided at the Broadfield House Glass Museum to the Red House Glass Cone site.

"At its meeting on March 4 and future meetings, the select committee will receive progress updates and monitor the feasibility process."

Offline Glen

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #63 on: January 22, 2009, 07:04:39 PM »
Just to note, for the record, I have written / protested, and the CGS (UK) are aware of the situation too.

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Offline yelooc

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #64 on: January 22, 2009, 07:24:52 PM »
The Glass Association Part 1:

You’re probably aware of the proposal by Dudley Council to close Broadfield House and “move” to the Red House Cone site by March 2010. We’ve just been informed that a final decision is being taken on March 2nd !!! Hardly a reasonable time for consultation and the input of other ideas. Please read the attachment, act on the “How Can You Help” section. Many Thanks; Brian Clarke, Chairman


On the 5th. January, the staff of Broadfield House were told that Dudley Council is proposing to close the Broadfield House Museum and move the collections and research resource through to The Red House Cone site, as from March 2010.

Having consulted with staff, councilors and friends of Broadfield House it would appear that the move is probably designed as a cost cutting exercise. In this case, it would be unlikely that funding would be available from the council to expand the Red House Cone site. If this is true, then the move from Broadfield House would be to downgrade the museum facility.

At present, at the Red House Cone, there is neither enough exhibition space, nor adequate lecture space. The research material, library and collections would be hidden away. Because of this, the owners of the loan collections (which include the Friends of Broadfield House) may well want them 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, for the important resources of Broadfield House to be lost to use. As one of the “major” glass attractions, bringing visitors to Stourbridge, it would also be a loss to Dudley Council. Its importance as the repository of major glass collections, especially of the 20th. century Stourbridge area, is international.

The Red House Cone site is owned by Waterford Wedgwood. Dudley Council has a lease on most of the area, but not the Stuart shop, the tea rooms and some of the buildings at the back of the site. It would seem that no decisions can reasonably be made until the intentions of the administrators / new owners of Waterford Wedgwood are known.

In view of the above, The Glass Association is campaigning to stop this move unless and until the Red House Cone site is fully prepared, in order to show as a minimum, the collections that are at the moment displayed and that adequate facilities are created to house the research material. They both need to be readily accessible. Ideally, new lecture facilities would also be created.

The Friends of Broadfield House have just met with Museum Staff and some of the Dudley Councillors, their succinct conclusions were:

-      There had been no prior consultation

-      There had been no detailed financial evaluation

-      There had been no detailed practical evaluation

-      External funding should be considered

-      The time scale was very short to consider the above issues

The Friends, The Glass Association and The Glass Circle would fully support from 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!  The Council would be guilty of losing an entire glass heritage.


The BBC still has a web page in operation, which will allow you to put your objections to this hastily conceived and ill thought out proposal:  TIME IS SHORT.

Add to the comments already on this blog.

Please also write your comments to:
Mr J Millar, Director of Urban Environment, Dudley MBC, 3 St James’s Road, DUDLEY DY1 1HZ

Mr Duncan Lowndes, Assistant Director Culture & Leisure, Directorate of the Urban Environment Culture & Community, Claughton House, Blowers Green Road, Dudley, West Midlands

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, Dudley MBC, The Council House, Priory Road, DUDLEY DY1


Offline yelooc

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #65 on: January 22, 2009, 07:28:47 PM »
The Glass Association Part 2

The Glass Association wrote to Councillor David Caunt, leader of Dudley Council on the 13th January, expressing the above concerns. Following a council meeting on the evening of the 14th January, we received the following reply:

“Further to your e mail to Councillor David Caunt, Leader of Dudley Council, he has asked me to respond on his behalf.

I fully appreciate the concerns that you have expressed in your e-mail and as the Assistant Director responsible for the Council’s Culture and Leisure Services I too would wish to see that any change in the way that the Glass Heritage and Collections of the Borough are exhibited and made available to the public as an improvement  on current arrangements.

That said I am also aware of the Council’s difficult budget position which is unlikely to improve in the current economic climate and the fact that the task that we face in delivering an amalgamation of the two glass heritage facilities will be challenging.

To this end we are establishing a project group to take the matter forward and the Select Committee for Regeneration and Culture has included the project within its work programme for the 2009/10 municipal years with reports being presented in order that the Committee is apprised of developments on a regular basis.

I trust that for present purposes this answer is sufficient for your purposes given that there is a considerable amount of work to be done and debate to be had.

Yours sincerely

Duncan Lowndes

Assistant Director Culture and Leisure”

Offline aa

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #66 on: January 22, 2009, 08:30:44 PM »
To this end we are establishing a project group to take the matter forward

This sounds like a standard diversionary tactic, but it may be the result of their having misjudged the potential opposition. We need to know who is going to be in the project group, so that everybody can write to those individuals.

Project group is very vague. Does it mean, as I suspect, council officials, or are they planning to invite, say, Brian Clarke and Graham Cooley to be members of the group?

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Offline David E

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #67 on: January 22, 2009, 09:08:02 PM »
Quote from: nigel benson
You are quite correct in saying that ill thought out petitions could be effectively a waste of time, but time is the one thing we do not have on our side. The council needs to be aware of the strength of feeling in the glass world as well as understanding the importance of the collections that are being held at Broadfield House.

If we can all agree on a wording for the petition, then the sooner it is posted the better - it certainly won't hurt to raise this as a matter of national concern. So I'll start the ball rolling (or perhaps this can be moved to a new topic, Mods?)

We, the undersigned, wish to register our protest at the imminent closure of Broadfield House Glass Museum, based in Kingswinford, Staffordshire, the centre of the country's glass industry. The museum is highly regarded as a National centre, with International renown, and the loss, or the reduction of the facilities, as proposed by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council would be a national disgrace.

Too wordy? Have I missed something? Anyone care to edit this?
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Offline yelooc

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #68 on: January 22, 2009, 09:20:44 PM »
I sent this today on the distribution list posted earlier:

" Dear All,

There is much concern around the world regarding Dudley Council’s proposals to close Broadfield House Glass Museum.

BH is the greatest glass asset in the UK and it would be a disaster if the collections ended up in boxes and the museum consigned to a corner of the Red House Cone.

An expanded Red House Cone with improved facilities would be great but seems unlikely if the proposals are centred on cost cutting. A properly costed plan and a consultation process is needed.

You may be interested to follow the comments on the attached two websites (follow the links below). The glass message board “Broadfield House to Close” discussion has had over 1000 hits in the two weeks it has been live.

Please do this properly; we used to have a glass industry, now all we’ve got left is Broadfield House.

Dr Graham Cooley

Offline yelooc

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Re: Broadfield House to Close
« Reply #69 on: January 22, 2009, 09:45:04 PM »
David, Nigel

I suggest that a petition led by the Glass Association, Glass Circle and the Friends of BH jointly would be the best strategy and have the highest impact. This could be launched at the Cambridge Glass Fair on Feb 22nd.

The campaign page on the GA's website mentioned by David Hier earlier would be a good place to organise an online petition; however, we should note that the council will pay more attention to actual signatures on real pages.

I will email Brian Clarke, John Smith and Barbara Beadman to make this suggestion.



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