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Historic Gas Showroom’s move to Museum begins

Gas SHowroom 2

24 October 2017

We're about to start work on the take down of West Bromwich’s historic Gas Showroom! Key elements of this building will be moved here to the Museum where it will be recreated as part of our £21.7m major development project to depict Black Country life in the 1940s-60s.

Today (Tuesday 24 October), Museum curators met with contractors, Coleman & Company and Sandwell Council’s Planning Officers to agree a programme of works for the demolition of the building.

Our Deputy Chief Executive (Collections, Learning & Research), Jonathan Wilson, said: "The Gas Showroom  is one of the key buildings of our new historic town as it gives us the opportunity to tell a range of stories from the 40s to the 60s - from the bombing of the Black Country in World War Two to Cannon’s innovation in gas cookers – and allows us to recreate 1950s cookery demonstrations.

Whilst the condition of the building means it can’t be taken down ‘brick-by-brick’, we are specifically hoping to save the central stone staircase – perhaps the most memorable feature of the showroom – as well as the Gas Service signage, bricks, windows and lintels to allow us to rebuild the frontage exactly as it would have been in the 1950s.”

Councillor Paul Moore, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “I am pleased to see this derelict building finally coming down after being a blight on the High Street for far too many years.

“Removing this building, which is a dangerous structure and beyond economic repair, means this site can be redeveloped.

“This project is part of our ongoing work to regenerate West Bromwich town centre, while also allowing the Black Country Living Museum to preserve the historic elements it wishes to save.”

Demolition work is expected to be completed by March 2018. We expect to rebuild the Gas Showroom at the Museum and open it to the public along with the rest of our new historic town by 2022.

Do you remember the Gas Showroom in the 1940s, 50s & 60s? If so, we are looking for members of the community to share their stories. To find out how you can get involved, visit www.bclm.com/ForgingAhead.

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