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Black Country Living Museum welcomes nine millionth customer

A family turned up to the Black Country's ever-popular museum and had a special surprise.

Grandparents Jane and Simon DeVillanueva, from Bath, daughter Emma Ensell and granddaughter Grace Ensell, from Sutton Coldfield, found out they were the nine millionth visitor to Black Country Living Museum.

The family, first visited in the early 80s and Emma, born in 1978 when the Museum opened, had last visited around 10 years ago.

They were greeted by costumed characters and were given an exclusive ride in vintage cars from the museum’s collection.

They also received a free membership to the museum, fish and chips, drinks in the Bottle & Glass Inn and voucher for the museum’s gift shop.

Emma, officially the nine millionth visitor, said: “What a lovely surprise!

"It sounds cliché but we never win anything. We’ve really enjoyed the VIP treatment – especially the drive around the museum in the vintage cars.

"We’re excited to explore the rest of the museum as we haven’t been in quite a few years.

"Now with this pass we can come back whenever we like for the entire year – bonus!”

Black Country Living Museum officially opened 39 years ago, welcoming 8,800 visitors in its first year – visitors would have seen a much smaller site made up of a bridge and just a few buildings.

Since then, the museum’s visitor figures have grown substantially, and in 2016, the museum welcomed 308,457 visitors through its doors.

It also recently celebrated one of its best Easter holiday periods in over a decade, welcoming 24,000 visitors – an increase of 5 per cent on 2016.

Andrew Lovett, director and chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to have welcomed nine million visitors through the doors of Black Country Living Museum and we look forward to welcoming many many more in years to come.

"Since our opening in 1978 we have tried to give each and every one of our visitors an immersive and thought-provoking day out, allowing them to step back in time and experience the Black Country’s story.

"To those nine million who have visited, to those who continue to visit, and to those who are thinking about visiting – thank you.

"As a registered educational charity, your support is vital and hugely appreciated.”

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