Carl Chinn backs Campaign for a Longbridge Museum of Working Life

By Mark Anthony France for B31 Voices

Walking Through Longbridge
Walking Through Longbridge by Sas Taylor on Flickr

As redevelopment of the old Longbridge works land continues, a Bromsgrove resident has launched a campaign to have a Museum of Working Life on the site.

Local activist Mark France wants to see a museum to remember the contributions that workers at the car factory, from Austin through to Rover and MG Motors, made to the area. Mark’s father, grandfather and aunts and uncles all worked at the Longbridge plant.

Mark was inspired to start the campaign when he read an article in The Independent’s i newspaper.  The article ‘Home is where the factory was’  looked at how the Longbridge site is being developed. In particular, it was comments from renowned local historian Carl Chinn, which made Mark want to start the campaign. In the article, Professor Chinn told i: “I’d urge the developers to bring in public art and even a museum that recognises the workers; the designers. We need to make sure our children and our children’s children know about Longbridge and about the pride and status of the place.”

Professor Chinn is supporting the campaign and told us that it is important that we have something to remember the hard work of all the men and women who made Longbridge what it was.

In the first step of the campaign, Mark has set up an e-petition to ask Bromsgrove District Council to work with Birmingham City Council, local educators NEW and Bournville Colleges and others to work towards the establishment of a working life museum.

The issue will be debated by Bromsgrove councillors if the petition reaches 1250 signatures. You can sign the petition here. 

Through the campaign’s Facebook group, other supporters are working to set up a petition aimed at Birmingham City Council which you will find here on once up and running.

Carl chinns website can be found here