A good day out in Birmigham

Our day visiting Birmingham Museums.

 

You are really spoiled for choice for museums in Birmingham. Take a look at these.

Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, 75-80 Vyse Street, Hockley, Birmingham B18 6HA, England

Based in the iconic, Birmingham Jewellery Quarter. You get to tour an original jewellery factory. You will be amazed by the skill levels that had Birmingham at the forefront of jewellery production for well over two hundred years. These skills have to be seen to be beleived.

The Pen Museum

The Argent Centre 60 Frederick Street, Hockley, Birmingham B1 3HS

Who would think that pens could be so interesting? There’s over five thousand exhibits on display here. Learn all about pen making and calligraphy. At one time, over three quarters of the words written in the whole world were written by pens made in Birmingham! That is a stunning statistic.

The Think Tank Science Museum

Curzon Street, Curzon Street, Birmingham B4 7XG

An amazing collection of exhibits and interactive displays show off Birmingham’s contribution to science. You’ll be astounded at the things in here. Robots, Airplanes, Steam engines and trains. There’s a science garden with all sorts of different interesting things to play on. The kids will love it.

Vintage Trains.

670 Warwick Road, Tyseley, Birmingham B11 2HL

This used to be the Birmingham Railway museum, situated at the Tysely Locomotive Works. There’s a fantastic collection of trains including a GWR Castle Class loco, Jubilee Class locomotive and  three pannier tank locos from GWR (named pannier because the tank straddled the engine like panniers on a bike). The centre runs steam powered trips throughout the year. For these it uses both it’s own trains and other guest ones brought in specially.

W. Evans Silver Factory

57 Albion Street, Birmingham B1 3EA

It had been operating for 128 years and you can see all the dies, machinery etc from all that time. It is now run by English Heritage who (sadly) only open it occasionally rather than every day.

A fascinating museum of a silver goods producing factory that was only closed a few years ago. (2009 to be precise). You are led from room to room, exploring and discovering all the processes in envisaging, designing and finally creating a unique silver object. It is amazing how some processes hardly changed over hundreds of years. You can see pictures of the original owners and it’s definitely like a trip back in a time machine.

Coffin Works

13-15 Fleet Street, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham B3 1JP

A Victorian Coffin Fittings factory, restored by Birmingham Conservation Trust and reopened as a museum in 2014. With the original machinery working again, you will get a feel for how this old Jewellery Quarter firm once operated on a daily basis, producing some of the world’s finest coffin furniture, including the fittings for the funerals of Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother.  The shelves and workbenches at Newman Brothers are full of original dyes and tools.

National motorcycle museum

Coventry Road, Bickenhill, Solihull, Birmingham B92 0EJ

Quite an incredible display of motorbikes that have been restored to an top class finish and nicely displayed. They are all in fantastic condition. There was a complete history / description of each bike and it’s hard not to see that each one has been lovingly restored. There are just so many superb bikes. Spread over five different halls, you find yourself going back to each one to revisit bikes that have made an impression on you

For anyone with a passion for British bikes, their history and development, this is a ‘must do’ showing mainly the British production over the years until the sad demise of the majority of manufactures in the 1960’s and 70’s.

with many makes from the early years that appeared and disappeared very quickly, and are now largely forgotten. The sheer number of exhibits alongside the skill of restoration of the machines there has to be seen to be believed.  These are just a handful of suggestions. There are loads more to see and do in Birmingham.

 

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