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On this Day 1965: An abandoned needle mill in Redditch

On this Day

On this Day 1965: An abandoned needle mill in Redditch

OTD, April 12th, 1965…

Lionel Hampden visited an abandoned needle mill in Redditch which the local council planned to restore as a museum.

In the report Hampden notes that the Forge Mill closed in 1958 and now there are plans for it to be restored as part of a project to redevelop the Bordesley Abbey Meadows.

The mill was a water-powered scouring works and footage shows the exterior and interior of the building that stood on the banks of the River Arrow. Hampden talks to Geoff Rollins, the assistant senior surveyor for Redditch District Council about the history of needle making and the plans for the building.

The Forge Mill Needle Museum was finally opened in 1983 by Queen Elizabeth II – nearly 20 years after the plans were first established –  it is an unusual offering for heritage with the historic site illustrating the rich heritage of the needle and fishing tackle industries. Models and recreated scenes provide a vivid illustration of how needles were once made, and how Redditch once produced 90% of the world’s needles. On the same site, just a very short walk from Forge Mill Museum, are the ruins of Bordesley Abbey – a medieval Cistercian Abbey which has been extensively excavated it has a vistor centre while the museum also has a Coffee Bar and a Gift Shop selling souvenirs.

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