Birmingham Museum Services should be congratulating themselves after the Museum Collections Centre’s (MCC) latest Open Day this Bank Holiday Monday. I went along and had the most brilliant day, and it looked as though other visitors were definitely enjoying themselves. Until one of my fellow BCT bloggers provided information and a link to the MCC page on this very website, I’d never heard of the Open Days. Infact, I had no idea that there was even such a place as the MCC.
There was free transport from the city centre to the MCC in Nechells, courtesy of Aston Manor Transport Museum‘s vintage buses and the admission to the centre itself was also free. There were activities for kids, a mobile snack bar, rides on a model steam train and photography was very much encouraged. The fantastic thing about this place is that you literally never knew what was around the corner. Bread slicing machine? X-ray table? Gigantic ancient urn from Iraq? Door from Birmingham Debtor’s Prison (my personal favourite)? These are just a fraction of what can be seen.
The staff (volunteers?) were welcoming and extremely helpful and the MCC is very well equipped for visitors, but its not much like a trip to the museum – this is essentially a storage facility, so there’s no exhibitions or big panels packed full of information about objects. This is in no way a criticism – the MCC Open Day was genuinely the most interesting, different and exciting heritage related outing I’ve had for a good while. Much of what you see at the MCC is completely unexpected – therein lies its magic.
Don’t panic if you missed this Open Day – there is another planned for 22nd August from 10.30am – 5pm, again with free admission. The centre will also open on 9th September as part of the nationwide Heritage Open Days. There are also special photography and drawing days planned and on the last Friday in each month, the MCC offers free guided tours provided they are booked in advance. You can find out more here.