Birmingham & Black Country

Black Country Living Museum move for historical buildings

Elephant & Castle, circa 1950s
Image caption Wolverhampton's Elephant & Castle pub, pictured circa 1950s, will be among the buildings to be recreated

The past is to be preserved when entire old buildings are transported brick-by-brick to find new life in a museum.

Buildings making the move to the Black Country Living Museum, in Dudley, West Midlands, include a gas showroom and a library, while a landmark pub and butchers will be replicated.

They will be part of a new 1940s-1960s town, which is part of a project awarded £9.8m of Lottery funding.

Museum bosses say it will help create a "world class heritage attraction".

Image copyright The Francis Firth Collection
Image caption West Bromwich Gas Showroom, pictured on the High Street in 1963
Image copyright Black Country Bugle
Image caption Bosses hope to replicate Dudley's Burgin’s Newsagents, pictured here in 1908
Image caption Dudley's Woodside Library, circa 1960

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Buildings to be painstakingly taken apart and rebuilt include West Bromwich's Gas Showroom and Dudley's Woodside Library which faced being permanently lost.

Others, including Wolverhampton's disappeared Elephant & Castle Pub and Lye's Marsh & Baxter's Butchers, will be recreated from archive material and images.

The "town" is part of the wider £21.7m BCLM: Forging Ahead scheme, which will allow the museum to tell the story of the Black Country up to the closure of the Baggeridge Coal Mine in 1968.

It will also transform the visitor and learning facilities.

Bosses say the project will create 450 new jobs - 60 of which will be at the museum, with hundreds more during construction.

Image caption Bosses said 60 jobs would be created directly as a result of the expansion
Image copyright Black Country Living Museum
Image caption An artist's impression of the 1940s-60s town

Lowell Williams, chair of the museum, said: "We are excited to get started on this project.

"BCLM: Forging Ahead will not only allow us to complete our story, but also to create a truly world-class heritage attraction at the heart of the Black Country - something we can all be proud of."

The museum will submit a second round application to the Heritage Lottery Fund in October 2018 to release the rest of the funding.

If successful, construction will begin with a view to be completed in 2022.

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