New Futures for Birmingham`s Historic Buildings

Making the Coffin Fitting Works more accessible – for Heritage Open Days 2012

Posted August 13th, 2012 by Suzanne Carter with No Comments

With just under three weeks to go, our Heritage Open Days preparation is well underway!

Hannah Severn, one of our volunteers, spent the day with us today – making a start on a photographic display and ‘alternative’ interpretation for visitors who are not able to access the main buildings at the Coffin Fitting Works on a guided tour during our Open Days in September.

Hannah is in her third year at Bishop Grosseteste University College, Lincoln, studying Heritage Studies and is looking long-term to get into heritage property management. Hannah has helped us at our open days in the past and also been one of our ‘heritage bloggers’ since 2009 – we have given her a new challenge this year!

I asked Hannah why she keen to support our work at the Trust.

“First of all, BCT is a local charity concerned specifically with historic buildings in Birmingham, and I find that quite refreshing. Most conservation trusts either hold a large portfolio of properties (like National Trust), or are small trusts concerned with looking after a single property – BCT is interested in saving a wide range of buildings within the city.

I often think that if BCT didn’t exist – who would save our buildings at risk? Would the National Trust have taken on the Back to Backs without BCT having rescued the buildings first? I can’t help feeling that without a trust like BCT with such a local focus, lots of our significant historic buildings in Birmingham might have been, or would be, sold off for the value of the land and the development potential – rather than for its heritage value”.

In its pre-restored state only the Courtyard at the Coffin Fitting Works is accessible to wheelchair users and the tour will take visitors up various steep staircases.

But, please don’t let this deter you from visiting us over Heritage Open Days – from the Courtyard you will take in the atmosphere of a Victorian factory, and, thanks to Hannah’s support, we will have some great photographic displays of the building and its history, handling collections and an ‘alternative’ tour available.

 For more details about Heritage Open Days, see our Events pages.

Look forward to seeing you then!

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