Weʼre raising £5,000 to support the creation of a Redditch Local History Museum in the town centre.
- Redditch Town centre
- 7 days to go
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Tuesday 9th February.
What a good response to our appeal. We are so pleased with the support we are receiving. If you have not donated already please, please do so. If you have already donated, thank you but please spread the word and encourage others to donate, it is only with public support that we will succeed.
We are a group of local history enthusiasts working to set up and run a Redditch Local History Museum and we hope we can count on your support of this initiative. Plans are progressing well but we need to build and strengthen the team to realise these plans. Initial indications confirm that many Redditch people are interested in the town’s history and heritage and think it is important to preserve and display historical artefacts and records on a more permanent basis in a building dedicated to that purpose.
Whilst we have an excellent museum at Forge Mill, it is mainly for the preservation of our needle making and fishing tackle industry. Currently, there is a huge treasure trove of local artifacts relating to the many other aspects of Redditch history being stored by local amateur historians. Situated in garages, private houses and numerous other locations, they are in danger of disappearing as the holders pass away and house clearers consign them to a skip. Some Redditch residents who may have been born elsewhere - or be too young to remember - may have limited knowledge of the part Redditch has played in the history of Britain, and the planned museum will allow all residents and visitors to appreciate much more of its history and heritage.
We are now progressing an awareness and promotional programme over the next six months. This will include an exhibition in a prominent town-centre location that will not only detail our plans to create the museum but also give some examples of how artefact information will be presented at the proposed museum. Fundraising is also under way to raise £5,000 to cover the costs of this first phase.
With the support of volunteers and potential sponsors gained during this first phase we then intend to set up an interim museum site to be operational for two to three years until a permanent site is established, ideally in the town centre.
Funding of that permanent site will always be a challenge, and grant issuing bodies are already having to be very selective as to which charities and good causes they can support. However, Redditch Borough Council have ambitious plans to “Unlock Redditch” and, we understand, government finance is available to Redditch if a good case can be put forward for its plans. It is our contention that preserving the town heritage and linking the past achievements of the town to the prosperous and vibrant town proposed through a heritage centre/museum would strengthen that case for government funding. Therefore, the proposals we have to create an interim museum should be integral in those plans.
If we look back for a moment at the town’s history we can soon see that there is very strong case for a Redditch Local History Museum. The town of Redditch took the Industrial Revolution ‘by the horns’ and became one of the most diverse and productive areas in the country, helping to bring prosperity to the town and its people. The ingenuity of local entrepreneurs meant that Redditch became famous for a whole range of manufactures. Factories sprang up making a variety of goods and famous, national companies sourced Redditch designed and produced products from Redditch suppliers.
The Royal Enfield Motorcycle Company is such a famous brand known the world over, but not many people know that the BSA and Sunbeam also produced motorcycles in the town. The BSA brand also manufactured thousands of their machine guns in Redditch factories to support the war effort. The Battle of Britain, recognised as the turning point of World War II was won by Spitfires whose Merlin engines contained crankcases and pistons forged at High Duty Alloys in Redditch. High Duty Alloys made components which were also integral to the Dam-buster raids and later their forging provided Concorde’s tremendous landing gear,. Hymatic is another company, still known the world over, which during the war effort was making compressors and joystick firing buttons. Then, continuing into the later 20th century, supplying the valves that enabled the Harrier jump jet not only to hover, but to fly backwards. The history of all this and much more needs to be saved and celebrated and that means we need a local history museum. Without a museum, Redditch will lose much of its history and heritage.
For all the good works of the Redditch Development Corporation in building the green, prosperous and vibrant Redditch we have today, unfortunately preserving the town’s history and heritage does not seen to have been given a high priority. Many historic sites were lost and the traditional communities were diluted during the new town building. As new industries were welcomed old, established crafts declined and many of the new families who came to the town as a result of its expansion do not appreciate the pre-new town history.
The new town development also had an impact on the social life of the townspeople. Gone are the old areas of the town. Gone are many of the old shops and street markets. Gone are the big old factories with all their social opportunities. We are also rapidly losing residents with first-hand memories of the pre-new town Redditch. When these old characters pass away, sadly so do their memories unless they are recorded and preserved. A town centre Redditch Local History Museum would complement the work of Forge Mill by providing storage for archive material, facilities for research and documentation, the ability to record and store memories and displays to interest both residents and visitors. It is a resource we badly need to educate future generations of Redditch residents of the town’s past history..
It would also provide a permanent local history exhibition area, a library of the many books that have been written on the town’s history and new publications. It is also planned to incorporate interactive displays using new technology including a video theatre showing historic films which bring to life past times, places and individuals. The scope of the museum is tremendous, and it will also be a very valuable addition to what we currently offer visitors to the town.
However, to achieve these ambitions, we need your help.
• We need your confirmation of support for such a museum.
• We need volunteers to help promote, design, build and operate the museum .
• We need donations and sponsorships to fund its creation and operation.
Please join, like and follow the new Redditch Local History Museum Facebook group to show your support for these plans. Visit our website at www.rlhm.uk to see how you can volunteer to help. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07860 326582 to share your ideas on what you would like to see in the museum and tell us how you can help us realise this ambition.
RLHM Trustees: Derek Coombes, Peter Harris, Graham Smith,
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Apr 7, 2021
We are rather tight.
Mar 2, 2021
Would be a fantastic addition to Redditch - all these photos and memories need to be treasured
Mar 1, 2021
Great cause ... lived in this town all my life and not giving up yet ... collectively these great things can happen.... 😊
Graham and Kathy Court
Mar 1, 2021
Feb 25, 2021
Donating in honour of my Dad, John Jukes who was extremely interested in our Redditch family history.
Feb 23, 2021
Feb 23, 2021
It would be great to have a museum showing what was made other than needles and fishing tackle also showing what Redditch looked like before the new town came I was born and still live in Redditch
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About the fundraiser
Redditch Town centre
The Redditch Local History Museum is a new group that is planning a town centre museum that records and presents Redditch local history and heritage covering all areas of the town's history outside the scope of Forge Mill.