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Berkswell Museum is facing threat of closure

The only museum in Solihull could close within months if visitor numbers do not improve, volunteers have warned.

Berkswell Museum
Berkswell Museum

The only museum in Solihull could close within months if visitor numbers do not improve, volunteers have warned.

Berkswell Museum has been open for more than 30 years and showcases everyday artefacts from times gone by in Berkswell. Among its attractions is an exhibition on actor Jeremy Brett, who was born in Berkswell and starred as Sherlock Holmes in the Granada TV series in the 1980s.

While the museum is flush for funding, volunteers and dedication, it is the lack of visitors which is putting the facility under threat.

Treasurer Roy Jones said visitor numbers have plummeted from around 1,200 in 2007 to the low hundreds.

“It is extremely soul destroying when a volunteer has sat there for a whole day and no one has walked through the door,” Mr Jones said.

Mr Jones said he believes leisure habits have changed in recent years.

“There are a number of reasons why we think visitor numbers have been affected,” he said.

“We don’t have many school visits anymore. Schools are cutting back and trips out seem to be one of the first things affected.

“I also think people’s habits have changed. Instead of going for a nice drive out on a Sunday afternoon and walking around a museum, people prefer to go shopping.

“But we are open to change and ideas. We are willing to try anything to save this museum from closure.

“Once it has closed, it will be gone forever – you can never re-open something like this.

“And it would be a real shame.

“The exhibition items, which are all local, would be sent elsewhere.”

A collection of various exhibits all relating to Berkswell are housed in the sixteenth century cottage which is situated at the rear of the Almshouses in the centre of the village.

The cottage was formerly the house of the local district nurse.

The collection has been built up over the years since it first opened in 1981 and consists of memorabilia, farm implements, tools and household items.

Another exhibition there is on England Cricket Captain Bob Wyatt, who played for Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

 

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