I may not be from Dudley, but I do keep my ear close to the ground on this particular topic.
Since the beginning of this whole campaign, back in early January, it has been said by some that it is a 'done deal', including your recent visitor. Whether that is true, or understandable fatalism on behalf of a few people, perhaps only time will tell.
What I do know is, a huge number of people in the Dudley locality, and out here nationally and internationally are totally against the move to the RHC site - and we will go on campaigning until a World Class Glass Museum is achieved. Even if DMBC do decide to go down the uninspired and easier route of shoving as little as possible into an unsuitable site it is important for us all to have a clear vision out here - despite the difficult financial times we find ourselvs in.
I am sure you are aware of some of the things that are going on without the glare of publicity, and I sincerely hope that the council continue to go down the route that their leader, Anne Millward, has indicated.
Your point about visitor figures at the RHC diminishing this year, because of the lack of visitors to the old Stuart Shop, is well made and only emphasises the increase in numbers that are visiting Broadfield House Glass Museum as a result of all the publicity it is at last receiving (these have doubled in 2009 compared to 2008, something that DMBC are keen not to admit). It also illustrates how the visitor figures to the RHC site were achieved - certainly not through specific visits to the Cone and any glass on show there!
DMBC, and their own publicity department, have long since put BH on the back burner as far as publicity is concerned, which is why the current publicity is having such an effect - BH has been the borough's closest guarded secret!! Even locals who didn't know of its existance now visit and are amazed at the treasures held there.
At the moment the consultants, L&R, have suggested the proposed work at RHC could cost between £3m and £5m, totally wiping out any advantage in selling the BH site should they decide to spend the money.
So, why continue to pursue this ridiculous policy when all that they are likely to save is the yearly £120,000 that represents the loss of salaries and some other running costs of BH?
I say 'only' £120K, since surely that amount would be far outweighed by the income to the locality that is likely to occur as a result of supporting the museum and giving the publicity it deserves, as well as sorting out the sign-posting?
Finally, it is interesting that the October closing date for Stage 2 of L&R's feasibilty study has been put back to December as they need more time to complete the report thoroughly.
Recent events have suggested a possible change in attitude by at least some of the DMBC councillors, so I would suggest that we all need to carry on pursuing the goal of a better museum giving the collections and archives the status they deserve as the "Mecca for glass" in this country, as well as ensuring it's role on the world stage of glass.