New Futures for Birmingham`s Historic Buildings

Birmingham Museum Collections Centre Open Day – May 2010

Posted May 6th, 2010 by Birmingham Conservation Trust with 4 Comments
Museum Collections Centre. Photo courtesy of Andy Doherty, birminghamroundabout.co.uk

Museum Collections Centre. Photo courtesy of Andy Doherty, birminghamroundabout.co.uk

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.

4 Responses to “Birmingham Museum Collections Centre Open Day – May 2010”

  1. http://podnosh.com/blog/2010/02/25/what-its-like-to-go-to-your-first-social-media-surgery/ | Podnosh May 24, 2010

    […] there were some really interesting outcomes. In particular, it was heartening to see Emma Neil and Hannah Severn, who are both volunteers at the Birmingham Conservation Trust. I’ve written a little about […]

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  2. Lucie Thacker May 12, 2010

    Wow! This sounds fascinating. I am very disappointed not to have visited but I wasn’t free. I’ll be there on August 22nd. We think there is a bit of Bells Farm in there! A small piece of a wooden frieze – something we hope to reinstate in its original place one day.

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  3. May's Central Birmingham Social Media Surgery | Podnosh May 12, 2010

    […] for a while now, on a variety of different subjects for the Trust, as you can see here and here. They also write reviews of local history books, which allows the trust to raise small aounts of […]

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  4. alun severn May 11, 2010

    The MCC Open Day was the next best thing to time travel. There was a really welcoming atmosphere, staff ready and willing to answer questions and a completely unpredictable treasure trove of things to look at. It was interesting to see people engaging with things in a way they simply don’t seem to in the hushed, formal atmosphere of the museum proper.

    My favourite — or at least, one of the things that has most stuck with me — was the huge bronze door inscribed with a T S Eliot quotation, made for the pump room beneath (?) the Victoria Sq fountain but never hung because too heavy! That and the oddly Art Deco chip fryer (in those characteristic green and yellow pastels) that was identical to one in a chip shop that I was sent to regularly as a child of about 10-11, forty-odd years ago.

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