Below is a letter from Jeanette Hayhurst to Cll Karen Shakespear
in response to Karen's letter posted earlier.
Dear Councillor Shakespeare
I would like of inform you of my disgust at the proposal to close Broadfield House Glass Museum. This is a very important collection, not just of glass but also the most important glass research facility in the UK, which I have used on many occasions over the last 25 years.
I am led to believe that this is a cost cutting measure, I fail to see how you can expect to cut costs by proposing to move the museum to the Red House Cone site. It is obvious that no one who supports this idea has a clue about the feasibility of cataloguing each item as it is packed, how it is going to be packed (glass to be stored cannot just be bubble wrapped & boxed), how it is going to be stored prior to display at the new venue (glass can be damaged if it is not stored in the right atmospheric conditions) and how it is going to be displayed (new cases will have to be built, who is going to pay for them ? ). No one has any idea as to the time scale these measures will take, I therefore suggest one of your advisers contacts The Victoria & Albert Museum to get some idea how long it took and how much it cost to open the new glass gallery, a number of years ago.
I understand that another excuse for moving the museum is because you believe that as there are over (In your words) in excess of 20,000 visitors to the Cone each year, they might befit from the collection being moved there. I would be grateful if you could substantiate this figure and let me know the breakdown between visitors going there for the glass heritage aspect and those just visiting the shop, because as a frequent visitor it appears to me that most of the visitors come in coach parties and they just visit the shop. You also mention that BH is not accessible to many of the visitors to RHC but most visitors interested in the historic glass do not come in coaches or by public transport and now there is also a lack of parking at RHC.
You suggest that you would like to relocate the entire collection to one site, well this cannot be achieved with your proposal. It would be much more sense if the council returned to its previous intentions (for which a study and costings have already be undertaken) to move everything to Himley Hall, which already stores archived glass and documents. This would then mean that the glass display could be increased, rather than a large amount being in store and the glass records at the Colsey archive division could be encompassed into the site and you would have a truly magnificent facility with plenty of parking. The whole project could then be funded by the sale of Broadfield House and you could then publicise worldwide a truly wonderful academic and tourist attraction.
Finally, as the exercise was to save money, why don't you leave everything as it is, so that we can continue to enjoy Broadfield House Glass Museum and it's helpful staff .