Saturday, December 9, 2023
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History loses home



The fate of village artefacts collected over 70 years is uncertain after a local church submitted plans to develop the site of a dilapidated museum.

Alvechurch Historical Society has used the wooden building for the past 50 years to house a growing collection of items relating to village life and history and as a venue to hold its meetings.

But now the museum on School Lane, Alvechurch, is expected to be demolished to make way for a large bungalow, if plans submitted by the Parochial Church Council of St Laurence are approved.

The historical society says the wooden building, leased to them by the church at a nominal rent since 1969, is beyond repair and the planning application by the church has focused their attention on what to do with the museum’s contents.

Society chair Anne Humphries told The Village: “The plan is fluid at the moment. The building is irreparable and at the end of its life, regardless of the planning application, although obviously that has concentrated our minds very much.”

She added: “We aren’t going to throw anything away. We have got some people coming from Hartlebury and Worcester museums in a couple of weeks to give us some advice.”

It is hoped to have a display case in Alvechurch library for smaller Alvechurch specific items.

Anne said it was a “sad fact” that membership of the historical society was dwindling and that looking after the museum had become a large responsibility for those remaining.

“If there is a big outcry and people come up with an alternative suggestion and come forward to help and volunteer then things might change.

“But at the moment, I can’t see it,” she added.

Anne stressed that the loss of the building did not mean the end of the historical society and plans were in place to hold future meetings at St Laurence’s church hall, known as The Ark.

The planning application to Bromsgrove District Council, for a four-bedroom dormer bungalow in the style of a “Worcestershire barn”, has received lengthy objections from villagers in neighbouring properties.

Alvechurch Parish Council’s planning committee, which submits its own recommendations to Bromsgrove as a consultee, was unable to consider the application at its February meeting because there were not enough members present who did not declare an interest in it.

Parish council chairman Marc Worrall told The Village it was an important application and they would ask Bromsgrove to defer any decision until the parish had been able to consider it, either at its regular meeting or an extraordinary meeting.