In the early days at Chasewater, the Museum Collection was housed in one of the old carriages owned by the railway, as can be seen in these photographs taken in the 1970s.
When it became clear that the railway had to move its Headquarters due to the redevelopment of the old station at Brownhills West, the railway’s collection of artefacts and archives was moved off-site pending the provision of suitable display facilities.
The Museum was to be housed in the Heritage Centre, and when the building was completed, the fitting out of display and storage facilities was carried out. As we were starting virtually from scratch, advice was taken on the best way to catalogue, number, store and display as much of the collection as possible. A number of Museum volunteers have attended many courses run by Staffs, Birmingham and Midland Museum Authorities to learn how to catalogue, number and mark the Museum collection correctly. We gratefully acknowledge the help and support we have been given by these bodies – we could not have done it without them.
The display and storage rooms ready, a start was made bringing the collection back to Chasewater and the Curator’s job started in earnest. Hopefully, with donations and loans continuing to arrive, his job will never be completed, but the collection will continue to grow and be used for educational and other purposes to keep the memories of old industrial railways and coal mining alive.
Over the next few weeks and months I shall be adding posts about our Museum Collection.