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West Midlands Police Museum opens

The new West Midlands police museum has opened this weekend after a two year renovation project on the Grade II listed Victorian lock-up.

The lock-up was built in 1891 and had seen more than one million prisoners, including original Peaky Blinders’ members, by the time it closed in 2016. 

A £1 million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund has facilitated its conversion into a museum. 

The museum will be open for six days a week, from Tuesday to Sunday, and features 30 display areas. 

One of the exhibits will be centred on corporal punishment and feature a birching stool that was located in the lock-up as well as a 3D printed scan of the death mask from the last woman to be hung in Coventry. 

A Peaky Blinders exhibition will also tell the stories of the officers who dealt with the gang members. 

The original West Midlands Police Museum started back in the 1960s as Birmingham City Police Museum but it was primarily used as a training facility for CID officers. 

Detective Sergeant Charles Elworthy started collecting things to show to the officers on their training courses and gradually the museum grew. 

In 1993, the museum was moved to Sparkhill where it developed an outward focus with public open days and school visits. 

Chief Constable Sir David Thompson said: “It will give people a chance to learn more about their local police force today, as well as learning all about its history. That is essential for us when we consider the good and bad from our history; from pioneering female, black and Asian officers, to lessons learned when we haven’t quite got it right. 

“The objects on display are not just obsolete pieces of kit and collections of old pictures and records. Each tells a poignant story. They demonstrate struggles of those who’ve gone before us and shine a light on the social history of policing.

“The museum will give us a chance to build bridges with communities through our shared history, and educate people on how policing has developed. It will be an important education resource for young people in the West Midlands and beyond.

“The museum also remembers those who have gone before us, particularly those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. That is really important.

“It’s a fabulous addition to the region, both for residents and tourists: the vast array of exhibits and the history of the building itself is truly fascinating.”

You can book tickets here. 

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