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As if this wasn’t a poor enough state of affairs, with the Museum now vacated from the Elkington building the Council deemed the structure “the retention and sensitive refurbishment of a number of Listed Buildings on the site, some of which formed part of the former Elkington Plating Works”. surely more of it would have been had they left it as it was?
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One of the single greatest losses to the heritage of Birmingham occurred in 1997 when Birmingham City Council closed the Museum of Science and Industry which occupied part of the former Elkington Silver Electroplating Works in Newhall Street and had operated since 1951.
The Museum was a fascinating Aladdin’s Cave of industrial heritage exhibits crammed into a very unsuitable building for such a function – lots of tiny rooms on different levels – which made it all the more exciting to explore!
You’re not going to be seen as ‘sad’ or unpopular if you turn up with no one else in tow.
The whole point of the event is to meet people; so feel free to come alone and make some new friends!
To the left of that I seem to recall an old open-sided Birmingham City Council dustbin lorry and an old steam engine named ‘Secundus’ that I think had blown it’s boiler working in a quarry or some such in Dorset . To the end of the room and through a small doorway and you were into a more labyrinthine part of the museum with vintage cars, aircraft parts, the last tram to run in Birmingham along with sound (when a button was pressed, of course) and – one of my personal favourites – ten to 15 radios dating back some 100 years or so with a little control panel. As mentioned elsewhere, I left Birmingham for many years and when I returned at the close of the 1990s the Museum of Science and Industry was no more – closed for good and a new pretender to the name was emerging on Curzon Street to be opened as Think Tank in 2001, part of the Millennium Point development.