If nostalgia puts a warm smile on your face you have come to the right place! An extraordinary warehouse in Nechells holds over 800,000 artefacts that will amaze, stun, surprise and warm the heart as you make your way around this intriguing and surreptitious Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery Museum Collection Centre.
We popped along for their special Casks and Curiosity Open Evening as part of Birmingham Heritage Week which also featured a brilliant appearance by the Bostin Brass band. A huge warehouse with 26 rows of objects reaching up 30 metres high awaits you as enjoy this museum experience like no other. This is where the objects that cannot fit into the 9 museums across the city are stored, looked after and as you will be glad to see cherished!
You will feel as if you have discovered a secret treasure as you spot an eclectic range of objects sharing shelf space. You cannot help but think of a movie or literature reference to discovery as your eyes absorb a really great range of artefacts.
I love the Nicholas Cage National Treasure movies so thought of them but others will think of Aladdin and Raiders of the Lost Ark. The below statue of the Rape of Daphne brought back a nice memory of my visit to the incredible Borghese Gallery in Rome “Look at the way he’s holding her!” exclaimed a tour guide on that trip.
Be careful not to fall under the spell of this siren.
Can I interest you in Anthony Gormley’s preliminary model of our beloved Iron Man statue? It will be incredible to see how he gets on with his exhibition for the Royal Academy of Arts in 2019 which will involve one of the main galleries being flooded with mud and water to house his Host piece.
This is a great example of the eclectic grouping of items in storage at the MCC. They patiently wait for the day that they will deservedly return to the spotlight. Here’s looking at you kid.
Now to one of my favourite pieces! This model of a gunmakers studio is fantastic and full of glorious details inside each window.
Look at these gentlemen hard at work using the wonderful array of skills that made Birmingham a world leader. Birmingham began to make guns way back in 1630 and would soon be making muskets for the English Civil War. The Gun Quarter would proceed to make supplies for the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War and even the American Civil War.
It’s been a hard day’s night and I’ve been working like a dog.
“Oh Captain my Captain”. One of the standout pieces is this 18th Century ship figurehead below left. I also liked this nymph statue doing her best to imagine that she is in a beautiful garden designed by Capability Brown.
I should have looked closer at the label on this gorgeous cash register to see where it was from. I have a feeling that it’s from a very special shop that you could bag a real treat from. Beats a self-service till at Tesco any day!
This Victorian pram is untouchable.
This was a railway track inspection cycle. Get those leaves off the line please I’m one late shift away from a verbal warning.
I was a bit obsessed with any item that had wheels, they have so much personality. You can almost picture the cute grins on the 1950s kids that would be riding around on this ‘Gresham Flyer’ tricyle.
There is nothing cooler than a Chopper bicycle. They see me rolling, they hate it.
Vintage toys are like Tina Turner. Simply the best. This is a Leyland ‘Cub’ fire engine.
And now for something completely different. Listen to the Cox please guys.
Hopefully, this guy can calculate his way back into a public display.
Finally, things can get a little dusty in a warehouse so pitch in and help keep things pristine with one of these vintage vacs.
Have ya time for a wee drinkie? This Rob Roy cocktail by the legend Rob Wood was a great introduction to the evening.
Need to Know
The Museum Collection Centre can be only be visited by prior arrangement. They hold an open afternoon on the last Friday of every month 1:30 to 3:30pm which you need to book in advance to visit. You can also inquire about guided tours and group visits by visiting the Official website