I hope I am not repeating news already posted, I did a search and did not find anything.
Fearing that since the elections in Dudley, the Council is determined to close Broadfield House eventually, ( and may I add I and my family are friends and support BHGM fully!), a group of glass "enthousiasts, collectors, dealers, auction experts, Museum curators, manufacturers, associations, etc," about twelve of us are looking at another scenario!
Could the threatened closure be the opportunity to create a West Midlands Glass Museum of World class status, similar to Corning Glass Museum in New York State?
With this in mind, we have formed a steering group to investigate the possibility of working with DMBC
to look at a redundant glass factory site to create a new vision.
A centre for education and learning not only about glass design and history, but how important glass is to us all! To use the most energy efficient glass in is construction, show how glass leads in so many fields, fibre optics, solar panels, wind farms (the blades are glass coated!), how easy it is to recycle, and how lightweight and energy saving are modern glass bottles.
All thsi with a magnificent area to display the Broadfield House Collection, its archives, and to tell the story of 400 years ( 1612 to 2012) since the Lorrainer Paul Tysak, built the first glass furnace in Kingswinford.
With ample parking, and alongside craft studios, rented out at advantageous rates to glass artists, engravers, cutters.designers, scientific glass makers, with a shop to sell their products, a little like "The World of Glass" in St Helens which tells the history of the town as well as the glass factory and of glass itself, but more up to date, hands on and school children friendly!
It wil not be cheap to set up, but if Staffordshire can raise Â£3m in fourteen weeks for a museum to house a hoard of coins worth about Â£50k, why can't we raise a similar sum to give teh West Midlands the best damn glass experience hither to?
The mistakes of the Tational Glass centre in Sunderland will be learnt, the appeal of "Glass Valley" near Dieppe used, and a threatened heritage, may make young people in teh Stiourbridge area, proud of their history, heritage and want to getinvolved!
If the Friends oF Broadfield House say we are threatening them , they are wrong. they are friends of a Museum, a glass collection not a building!
Wonderfully elegant, it had no real connection with glass making and is not ideal for display, Conference and glass making!
We want to put Dudley on the map as The British Centre of fine quality glass making since 1612 again!
Already we have promises of donations totalling around Â£20,000 just to kick start the process.
We hope to be in walking distance of the Red House Cone ( a few bricks dropped down from it recentlyincreasing teh fact that it needs urget structural repair!).
If you go on to the Friends website http://www.friendsofbroadfieldhouse.co.uk/you
will see who we are and that we will soon have a Mission Statement, and hopefully backing of all if not most of th British Glass Industry behind our new proposal and venture.
Ambitious, certainly !
Visionary, we hope so!
Needed desperately we believe, as a solution to possibly the Broadfield House Collection breaking up completely, as did The Thomas Webb Collection, and The Royal Brierley Collection!
Where will the funding come from? Appeals for EU funds, UK Heritage Lottery ( after the Olympics!), various private and public charities, and we will need some DMBC funding for the staffing costs. Several bodies have shone interest at thsi early stage including Birmingham Museum!
Please support this new initiative, as members of the biggest internet glass group, and tell us what else you would like to see in it!
President of British Glass 2010.
Acting Vice Presidentof the British Glass Foundation ( in formation!).