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Black Country Museum gears up for reopening

By Dayna Farrington | Dudley | Attractions | Published:

The Black Country Living Museum is gearing up to welcome back visitors for the first time in nearly five months.

Slim Butler looks forward to welcoming back visitors at the Black Country Living Museum this weekend

The popular museum, based off Tipton Road, in Dudley, will open its doors once again on Saturday with a new summer programme.

The Black Country Museum was forced to close its doors on March 18 due to the coronavirus crisis, and during that period of closure, bosses at the museum would have expected to welcome around 150,000 visitors through the gates – and have faced losing more than £3 million of income.

Lizzie Whitehouse reminds guests to 'cover yowr fairce' before entering the sweet shop

The new summer programme, Unlocking the Black Country, and will allow visitors to be able to take a socially distanced journey through time across five historically-themed zones and 26 acres of outdoor space.

The attraction has introduced new shows, characters and new stories – and throughout August will be sharing 300 years of Black Country history with all generations.

Historic zones will include marvellous machines where visitors can learn how, from the Newcomen Engine to the racing car, engines put the world into motion. While on Racecourse Colliery, discover how coal – the region's black gold – unlocked the Industrial Revolution and enjoy an explosive new show, Mining Madness.

In Victory Park, guests can celebrate VE Day with costumed characters and they can hear stories of the people who crossed borders to keep the Black Country's industry thriving at the workshops of the world.

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At the Canal Street bridge, visitors can hear from the museum's village voices.

Slim Butler looks forward to welcoming back visitors

The vast majority of the museum's historic buildings, cottages and shops – including the famous fish and chip shop – will be open for visitors, while some one-way routes, hand sanitising stations and social distancing protocols have been added so people can enjoy the experience safely. It includes some unique Black Country dialect social distancing signs urging people to stick to the one-way systems and wear face coverings in some shops.

The underground mine experience will have to remain closed for the time-being.

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A spokesman for the Black Country Museum said: "It will be everything people know and love about the museum, but we are just bringing more of the inside, outside.

"We are delighted to be able to welcome visitors to the museum once again and to bring the site back to life.

"Museum colleagues have been desperately missing our visitors, so we are excited to be able to share stories and celebrate the best of the Black Country again from this Saturday."

Lizzie Whitehouse tries out the new modern hand sanitiser contraption

There is still limited availability to visit the Black Country Living Museum over the weekend – and the attraction is currently booking up until Friday, August 14.

Tickets will be released on a weekly basis and all visitors must pre-book an entry time in order to gain admission to to the museum.

For more information about visiting and to book tickets, visit www.bclm.co.uk. For any queries, email info@bclm.com.

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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