In the Press


Heat is on as local businesses help light BCLM’s fire

Wed 10 Aug

Two very generous local companies have been working tirelessly to keep the fire lit at Black Country Living Museum’s Edwardian St James’ School.

Together, Worcestershire Chimney Services and Midtherm Dudley forwent the usual charge to replace two historic classroom flues, taking the heat off the Museum’s maintenance team who would have normally paid thousands for this kind of work.

The Museum reached out to the local companies for a quote for both historic flues, which were originally installed with the building as replicas in 1991. Between them, both Worcestershire Chimney Services and Midtherm created a modern, safer version of the original replicas to fit in with the period style of the classroom.

Custom parts were created and three days’ worth of was needed to ensure the job was perfect. But when it came time to pay the bill the two companies handed it back, feeling that there shouldn’t be a charge for preserving local heritage.

Lee Despard, Owner of Worcestershire Chimney Services comments: “When we received the call for the works to go ahead we and Midtherm decided that we would offer our services for free – we just wanted to play a part in preserving it for future generations to enjoy. After all, my family have got some good memories from the school. It’s been a really satisfying job and I’m proud that the flue will be there for years to come.”

Ray Disney, Maintenance Foreman at Black Country Living Museum comments: “we are extremely thankful that two local business have worked together to contribute in this way. It’s very heartening to see that previous visitors’ experiences have left such a mark that they will donate so generously.”