Hereford & Worcester

Bromsgrove heritage on show at reopened museum

Dennis Norton in the museum
Image caption Dennis Norton's interest in collecting began in childhood

A museum showcasing a man's collection of about 23,000 artefacts relating to Bromsgrove's history has reopened after an eight-year absence.

Dennis Norton, who started the collection in 1949, said the opening of the newly-named Norton Collection Museum was "very exciting".

The Bromsgrove Museum closed in 2008 because of funding problems.

Mr Norton is part of a trust which raised £250,000 to buy the building from the district council.

Image copyright Sajid Javid
Image caption Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid described the collection as "very impressive"

The museum in the town's Birmingham Road provides a glimpse of how the high street looked at the start of the 20th Century, when there were many independent shops.

It also showcases work by the Bromsgrove Guild of Applied Arts, who made the main gates at Buckingham Palace and Liverpool's Liver Birds.

Mr Norton said the town's craftsmen "also kitted out the Titanic and the Lusitania".

Image caption Residents and different organisations helped fundraise to get the museum reopened

Mr Norton believes his desire to collect things stemmed from being brought up in an orphanage following the death of his mother when he was three years old.

"We had very few possessions and I became very possessive of things and it just grew and grew," he said. "But it is also because of my real love for Bromsgrove itself."

The revamped museum was opened by Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid, who tweeted that the museum was a "magnificent window into our past".

The Conservative MP added: "I had the privilege of opening many collections and exhibitions as culture secretary, but none filled me with as much pride as today."

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