The Norton Collection Museum exists as a result of one man's passion for collecting. Dennis Norton started collecting in 1949 and has never stopped. Over the years, he has amassed a huge array of items that help tell the history of how we lived in years gone by. Many of the exhibits also help tell the story of the town he made his lifelong home, Bromsgrove in Worcestershire.
From the outside, our museum looks small and humble. But that's just an illusion - think of the tardis and you'll understand what you might find when you step inside. The old coach house that is our home is five times deeper than it is wide and exhibits can be found over two floors and outside. To give you an idea, we believe that one and a half to two hours is the kind of time you need to invest to get the most from your visit.
Upstairs is split into two distinct sections. At the front, it's all about Bromsgrove and the crafts and industries that played such an important role in the history of the town. You'll find displays related to nail making, buttons, salt, Fairfield glass and, of course, the famous Bromsgrove Guild. Did you know the gates of Buckingham Palace and the Liver Birds were both made in Bromsgrove? Pay us a visit and find out more.
The back half of the upstairs exhibition space is dedicated to a group of shop fronts all crammed with exhibits and all based on real Bromsgrove businesses that used to exist in the town. You'll find a toy shop, a wireless shop, a ladies outfitters, a hairdressers, a chemist, a newsagent, a photographic store and a gramophone shop. You don't need to be a Bromsgrovian to appreciate these - an interest in days gone by is all that's required.
Downstairs are more shops including a hardware store and a shop selling music boxes and instruments with plans for more in the future. There is also a large space for short term displays that change throughout the year.
Finally, outside are all things transport related and a special exhibit dedicated to the Garrington's factory that used to employ many townsfolk at their Aston Fields factory.
Our name sometimes causes confusion for those with an interest in motorbikes. You won't find any Nortons, but you will find two very rare motorcycles that were built in Bromsgrove in the 1920's. Ever heard of a Banshee? No? Come and find out all about them and the unusual sleeve valve engine that some of them used. One Banshee is on long term loan from the British Motorcycle Charitable Trust and has been restored to a very high standard.