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Povedlo se - Broadfield House

Tahle anglická městečka jsou jedno jako druhé. Stejné domky a stejné zídky z červených cihel, miniaturní předzahrádky působící promoklým dojmem, i když náhodou zrovna neprší.
Ale takové štěstí právě teď nemáme, hnusně mrholí.
Robert trochu bloudí a říká ztrápeně „byl jsem tam nejmíň stokrát, a teď vážně nevím, asi musíme zpátky na roh k té hospodě“. Otáčím se na nejbližší křižovatce, a pak ještě dvakrát, a nakonec tam jsme.
Broadfield House.

Tak tohle je to sklářské museum! Myslel jsem si, že leží někde v Broadfieldu, aniž bych měl bližší tušení, kde se nějaký Broadfield nachází, a ono je tady v sklářském srdci Anglie, v Black Country, kousek od Stourbridge.

Tohle museum znám už od ledna 2009. Tehdy Anne napsala na naše sklářské fórum http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,24714.0.html naléhavou výzvu, abychom podpořili snahu o jeho záchranu.
Městská rada v Dudley se rozhodla, že v rámci úspor sklářské museum přestěhuje z Broadfield House do nedalekého Red Cone musea u Stuartovy sklárny a museum v Broadfield House od 1. dubna 2010 uzavře.  
Přiznám se, že nemám tyhle petiční akce rád. Moc mi připomínají to svaté nadšení těch „dětiček Země“ či jak si ti všichni ekoteroristé říkají, kvůli kterým jsem 10 let trávil hodiny v kolonách v Plzni, protože se ta zhulená omladina rozhodla blokovat výstavbu dálničního obchvatu.
Přečetl jsem si proto poměrně podrobně, o co tam v té „vzdálené zemi o které nevíme nic a těm lidem, o kterých vlastně stejně nic nevíme“ jde, a petici jsem také podepsal.
Anne, Mark nebo Robert za Chamberleina přeci nemohou.

A tím jsem celý Broadfield House pustil z hlavy, stejně jako anglické sklo.

Protože je říjen 2010 a já stojím u jeho vrat, zdá se, že se něco povedlo, nebo nepovedlo, podle toho, na které straně jste. Robert si není jist, jestli je museum zachráněno definitivně, vypráví mi o tom, že na tu viktoriánskou budovu prý má kdosi zálusk, a přilehlý park by mohl posloužit jako několik velmi atraktivních stavebních parcel, tedy jde o něco, což bohužel nám v Čechách není neznámé. Jen si nějak nedovedu představit jakékoliv městské či obecní zastupitelstvo u nás doma, že by je od úmyslu „nějak dobře“ prodat obecní majetek odradilo pár tisíc podpisů sklářských fandů z domova a z ciziny. V Anglii se to snad podařilo.
http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/broadfield-house-glass-museum.html

Je potřeba ovšem připomenout, že se „broadfieldští“ se neflákají. Kromě oficiálního webu
http://www.dudley.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/museums--galleries/glass-museum snadno nagooglujete, pokud zadáte „Broadfield House Glass Museum“, řadu dalších odkazů na jejich aktivity, včetně Wikipedie a stránek přátel musea:
http://www.dudley.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/museums--galleries/glass-museum

Ačkoliv vstupné je zdarma, „broadfieldští“ poměrně efektivně shánějí zdroje na spolufinancování chodu musea, ale to už trochu jiné téma.         

Na prohlídku vlastního musea máme bohužel jen chvilku, po nezbytných formalitách mohu fotit, ale světlo je špatné a času málo, tak z toho nic moc vidět není:
http://picasaweb.google.com/Jindra8526/BroadfiledHouseGlassMuseum15102010?authkey=Gv1sRgCO-WzvTphbXvTw#.
Převažuje sklo britské, ale našel jsem i pár našich výrobků. Nic světoborného či mimořádného, stejně to potěší. Snad jen jako kuriozitu uvedu vitrínu s více než stovkou skleněných sov, které museu věnoval záhadný pan David Wilkie Cooper za pomoci prostředníka v roce 1981. Pak pan Wilkie-Cooper zmizel prý asi v Monaku a nic bližšího se o něm neví. Nás potěší, že si mezi nimi sůví i exempláře od prof. Jana Černého.

Těším se na příště a držím palce, Broadfield House!

Jindra Pařík 5.1. 2011

A wonderful Visit to see the Broadfield House Glass Collection

 For a visitor, this area is a very English experience. The houses and the red-brick walls, with old fashioned front gardens, give an impression of  Victorian England from long ago. Even if the weather was only kind by chance, by not raining, it was like travelling back in time to the turn of the last century!!

 Luckily, for early winter, the weather was dry at least for our visit to Broadfield and the famous glass collection it contains. As we near the museum, the suburban roads get a little confusing. Even though quite local, my guide Robert gets a little lost and says, \"Ive been there many times! I really do not know how we are back at the Park Tavern, the nearby pub, when Broadfield Museum is also on the same side of the same Park in the same village!\" (called Kingswinford). I turn to the nearest intersection, and then twice, and then in one minute, we are there-Broadfield House.

 So this is the well-known glass museum! I thought that perhaps Broadfield House was the name of the village but it seems it was named after the \"broad field,\" that later became the local nearby park. The museum and its collection is actually located in the glass heart of England, in the Black Country, in a place called Kingswinford, by Wordsley, within two miles of the old glass town of Stourbridge.

 I had known about this museum for some time. Unfortunately I could not visit the Hi-Lo Sklo exhibition that was here a couple of years ago, that showed much post-war Czech glass, as part of Dr G. Cooley and Mark Hills efforts to publicise modern Czech glass.

 I later heard again about the museum through Anne, writing on our forum http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,24714.0.html, advertising an urgent call to support efforts to save the museum from closure. Dudley Council has a possible plan to move the internationally important glass museum contents from Broadfield House, including hundreds of unique pieces of English glass, to the existing nearby Red Cone Glassworks Museum and the old ruined Stuart factory opposite. It was possible that Broadfield may have closed in April 2010. A petition and letter writing campaign has now helped delay decisions about its future, organised locally by passionate enthusiasts, drawing on the talents of the most well known figures in British glass and antiques too. (I admit that I do not generally like these petitions. I was very much reminded of the religious enthusiasm of  \"eco-terrorists,\" who plagued me in my career long ago in structural engineering, when I spent hours in traffic jams in Pilsen, because stoned teenagers decided to block the construction of the essential highway bypass I was employed to help with). But of course, the issue of the future of the collection of glass held at Broadfield is not a situation as common as a common and garden construction site, it is a unique thing. I read about the story in some detail and I also signed the petition and wished Broadfield the best.

 As regular readers will know, Czech glass is my general speciality and I do not know in detail all the history of English glass, but a chance to see this museum could not be missed. So in October 2010, Im standing at the door and wondering about its future. I ask my friend Robert about it and he is not sure whether the museum is finally rescued. He told me about the laborious decision making of local council committees and that the decision for the future of the collection of glass was not yet finalised, but said that the value of splendid Georgian building that contains the glass and its spacious garden, is a valuable thing to a council if they were free to sell it without it containing the famous glass collection!! Improving access to the collection and reducing running costs, on paper, is the supposed principle at stake, not the value of Broadfield House as a commodity...... Unfortunately, this kind of decision making is not unknown to us in the Czech Republic. But I cannot imagine any city or municipal council at home wishing to sell municipal property, would be deterred by a few thousand signatures from glass enthusiasts from home and abroad. In England, it may have done.

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/broadfield-house-glass-museum.html.

 My friend Robert who lives in the area says that this is a bit of a simplification, even though the petition was very useful indeed. That, as of 6th January 2011, the future is still somewhat uncertain but the museum glass collection remains where it is, until more decisions are made this year and that the petition was only one aspect of the campaign. The organisers of the campaign had several people from the world of antiques and television in to help publicise the plight of the collection. The campaign has also led indirectly to things like the formation of the new British Glass Foundation group that campaigns for at risk collections such as at Broadfield but also to issues like the possible loss of historic collections at Wedgwood glass that took over Stuart crystal some years ago, where their need for paying pensions in the company may perhaps lead to their selling their Stuart glass collection that has unique items, pattern books and is of course a unique part of Stourbridge glass history, close to the heart of Broadfield House).  A tough job is at hand to protect the industrial glass heritage of England in coming years!

The petition to protect the Broadfield collection has now finished. 

In addition to the official council website

http://www.dudley.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/museums--galleries/glass-museum 

there is the local enthusiasts group,

 http://www.friendsofbroadfieldhouse.co.uk/ 

Also much more about the debate can be read searching the old and new threads at the Glassmessageboard forum.

 Janet Hendry has done a great deal to organise the campaign and the story of her efforts may be read here: saveourglassheritage.blogspot.com

 Although admission is free, Broadfield finds resources to help run the museum, but thats a little different topic.

 During a quick tour of the collection, in October we saw a lot of the amazing glass on display. (Over 80 per cent of the glass cannot be displayed due to space issues, the collection is HUGE!. Unfortunately, we have only a moment, after the necessary formalities, we can take a few pictures. Thanks are due, to the Broadfield House Glass Museum, for letting me take pictures on a not for profit basis. Thank you!

The pictures are at:

http://picasaweb.google.com/Jindra8526/BroadfiledHouseGlassMuseum15102010?authkey=Gv1sRgCO-WzvTphbXvTw#.

 British glass predominates of course! There is a brilliant display of mainly post war British glass, including fine exhibits of Stuarts, S&W glass, Whitefriars, Johnathan Harris Mdina glass, Dartington, Caithness, etc all organised to celebrate the publication of the new book by the former director of Broadfield House, acknowledged authority on British Glass, Charles R. Hajdamach (who has Polish ancestry), see http://www.hajdamach.com/.

 But during the visit, I found a few of Czech glass products hidden in the shelves. Nothing to brag about or totally extraordinary, but it is nice to see a few pieces from home. Had I had the chance to visit some years ago during the HI Lo Sklo exhibiton, I would have seen a lot more Czech glass of course!

 As a fascinating curiosity, in my picasa album, I will showcase more than a hundred glass owls, which are on display at Broadfield. The story of the owls is a very British one, involving an eccentric British collector. They were donated by the mysterious Mr David Wilkie-Cooper through a mediator in 1981. It is said that after the donation of the owls, Mr Wilkie-Cooper went to Monaco and that nobody at the museum met him personally before (or after) his gift of over a hundred owls to the museum! What a fantastic gift!

 A wonderful Visit to see the Broadfield House Glass Collection

Among the crazy collection of owls from around the world, there are cheap and expensive ones, like any normal serious amateur collection, but some very special owls too from fine European factories. I see limited edition pieces by Daum and other fine pieces, but what is this I see?  It seems there is a wonderful Czech owl made by the famous Professor Jan Cerny has flown over to England and settled on the shelf! What a lovely creature to see unexpectedly here in England, a beautifully modelled small series sculpture by one of the great influences of post war Czech glass design. The collection at Broadfield House is full of surprises!

 I am keeping my fingers crossed for the future of the hugely important glass collection held at Broadfield House!

Jindrich Pařík with great help of Robert Bevan-Jones, January 5 2011

 

 




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