Joyce outside cottage 1940s

A groundbreaking ceremony at Avoncroft Museum honoured Bromsgrove’s industrial heritage and marked the beginning of a reconstruction project to restore a local resident’s childhood home to its former glory.


At 3pm on Monday 7th July, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at Avoncroft to mark the start of the reconstruction of a building which will be the latest addition to the collection at the Museum.

By a stroke of luck, press coverage of the original rescue of the building prompted Joyce Rea (formerly Homer), who was born in the house in 1925, to get in touch with Avoncroft and share her memories of living in the house during the 1930s.

It is the wealth of information from this period which has led the Museum to focus its interpretation of it as it was in the 1930s, following the decline of nailmaking and the rise of the car industry, which largely replaced nailing as the largest employer of the area.

Simon Carter, Director of Avoncroft Museum, said: “We are delighted to add the nailer’s cottage to our collection, especially as it reflects such a key part of Bromsgrove’s history and Joyce has been able to give us such wonderful insights into her life in it.”

The first phase of the reconstruction, which will take approximately 13 weeks, will see the rebuilding of the outside of the cottage. Funds are still being sought to help with the completion of the second phase: finishing the interior and landscaping its gardens. If anyone would like to support the project, please contact Rachel Shepherd, Development Manager, on 01527 831363 or or donate via the Avoncroft Big Give website: