Ironbridge - A visit to Broseley Pipe Museum
Tuesday 13th June 2017
Sunday morning, after too little sleep, we broke away from the Andrew Marr show for another election. A 09:30 meeting to choose a chairman of this year’s Masters’ Association. The sole candidate scraped in unanimously with most in attendance looking at their shoes when there was a plea for volunteers. Another vote to choose a name with the “Prime Masters” beating “Mary Poppins” by a lot to one. 2017 is a prime number so the “Prime Masters” adopted the motto “Cannot be divided”. Back to the room to pack up and to watch Jeremy Corbyn trying to persuade the nation that he won (even though he lacked the seats to call a tea party in the Commons). City of London democracy is so civilised compared to the rest.
Back to Coalbrookdale and an opportunity to join a behind the scenes tour of the Darby houses and see the Costume Project. After lunch, we headed for Broseley to the Pipe Museum. This is a little gem tucked away from the most visited sights. We parked in the yard where Abraham Darby the first lay. We later discovered that our car was actually over his plot and I was reminded of Richard III’s resting place under a municipal carpark in Leicester.
The Pipe Museum is rather dilapidated and is much the same as it was when they downed tools in a hurry in the 1950s. “A time capsule” they call it. A charming curator, Tracey, took a group of five on a 45 minutes tour which was informative and fun. Unfortunately, health and safety does not allow the public unsupervised access to the factory. There are a large number of our Company’s antique prints on view with hundreds of clay pipes. I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to see the museum and hope that many more members of the public make the effort. In the meantime, I have added a YouTube link to a video that is shown at the Museum.