Bromsgrove Nailer's Cottage - Avoncroft's latest exhibit - officially opens this week

Sat 19 Sep 2020

THE LATEST building to be restored to its former glory at Bromsgrove’s Avoncroft Museum will be unveiled on Wednesday, September 23.

The Victorian Nailer’s Cottage will be available for visitors to view so they can get a real insight into what life in the profession was like.

The cottage, which has been completely rebuilt and refurbished to look as it would have in the 1930s, originally stood at 79 Old Birmingham Road in Bromsgrove and had hardly been altered in 80 years.

It had been earmarked for demolition before Avoncroft came to its rescue.

The relocation and furnishing of the cottage over a number of years has had generous support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Connie and Albert Taylor Trust, the Edward Cadbury Trust and the Bromsgrove Society.

Nick Sturgess, acting deputy director of Avoncroft, said: “I am delighted we’re opening the Nailer’s Cottage to the general public.

“It tells a story of not just local interest but also regional interest as it shows how Midlands families adapted their homes to the loss of cottage industry.

“In this case the inhabitants had given up making nails and gone to work at Longbridge to make cars.

“It has taken a long time to get the interior detail right but we’re delighted to finally be able to say that the public can to look inside and learn more about this fascinating period of change in midlands history.”

Nail making was the main trade during the 18th and 19th centuries and figures from 1778 show 900 people were employed in the industry.

That number had risen to 10,300 by 1851 and the trade was taken up by men and women in equal numbers.

The demise of the Bromsgrove nail trade came from machine-manufactured nails and cheaper foreign imports.

Avoncroft Museum in Bromsgrove shows Midlands life from the 1500s to the present day through a collection of buildings.

It is open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10.30am and tickets need to be pre-booked on the website to comply with Covid-19 safety measures.

Visit www.avoncroft.org.uk or email collections [at] avoncroft [dot] org [dot] uk for more information or to book tickets.

Go to bromsgrovenailmaking.wixsite.com for more on Bromsgrove’s nail making history.

Our thanks to The Bromsgrove Standard for allowing us to reprint this article