Saturday 17th September 2022

Broseley Pipe Museum

Having heard much about Ironbridge, the Broseley Clay Pipe Museum and our unofficial ‘apprentice’ clay pipe maker Oliver Meeson, I asked the Renter Warden, Henry Tuck, to kindly arrange a visit – and was delighted to go with Henry and his wife Carolyn and the Mistress.

Arriving on Friday 17 September allowed us a full day to explore on Saturday before returning home the next day.

The much-dedicated curator Kate Cadman gave an amazingly interesting tour of the Broseley Pipe Museum – she is passionate, and I found it most informative and well laid out and came away so much better informed on the history of clay pipes. At its peak, this operation was producing 3 million pipes a year and employing 80 people!

We lunched with the CEO of The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Nick Ralls – they run the 10 museums in the region including Broseley. Covid was tough on them, and the challenges remain with the current recession. Nevertheless, he has plans on ensuring this display of English heritage remains strong.

Oliver Meeson was displaying his pipe making skills down the road at Coalbrookdale, and it was a pleasure to meet him and hear of his plans and objectives.

I hope to be back to finish off all there is to see and do there – and strongly recommend the Broseley Pipe Museum to any members who don’t know it!

My thanks to Henry for his diligence and commitment with the relationship we have at Ironbridge.