Labour History Review

The Lock Museum, Willenhall

Labour History Review (2002), 67, (3), 355–364.

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The Lock Museum, 54/56, New Road, Willenhall, West Midlands, WV13 2DA. Opening Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 1100-1700. Tel: 01902 634542, Website: http://members.tripod.co.uk/lock_museum Google Scholar

G. Vandell, A Short History of Lock Making, Walsall, Walsall Library and Museum, 1978, and Lockmaking in Willenhall, Willenhall, Willenhall Local History Group, 1984. A Short History of Lock Making Google Scholar

The Lock Museum Newsletter, Issue 52, Summer 2001. Google Scholar

In the 1840s there were approximately 260 workshops, of which only two could be considered large works, see, M. Rowlands, The West Midlands from AD 1000, London, Longman, 1987, p. 245 cited in P. Green, ‘Women and Work in the Black Country: Locked into a Sexual Division of Labour?’, MA, University of Wolverhampton, 1989, p. 7. The West Midlands from AD 1000 245 Google Scholar

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B. Stenner, The Lockmakers: A Century of Trade Unionism in the Lock and Safe Trade 1889-1989, Oxford, Malthouse Press, 1989, p. 46. The Lockmakers: A Century of Trade Unionism in the Lock and Safe Trade 1889-1989 46 Google Scholar

A. M. Greene, P. Ackers, and J. Black, ‘Going against the historical grain: Perspectives on gendered occupational identity and resistance to the break down of occupational segregation in two manufacturing firms’, Gender, Work and Organization, 9, 3, forthcoming; and Green, ‘Women and Work’, p. 14. ‘Going against the historical grain: Perspectives on gendered occupational identity and resistance to the break down of occupational segregation in two manufacturing firms’ Gender, Work and Organization 9 14 Google Scholar

G. Porter, ‘Putting your house in order: Representations of women and domestic life’, in R. Lumley (ed.) The Museum Time Machine, London, Routledge, 1988, p. 107, and G. Porter, ‘The Women's History Approach’, in D. Fleming, C. Paine and J. G. Rhodes, Social History in Museums, London, HMSO, 1993, pp. 78-81. See also the criticisms of National Heritage by B. West, ‘The making of the English working past: A critical view of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum,’ in Lumley, The Museum Time Machine, pp. 39, 43. The Museum Time Machine 107 Google Scholar

For more information about women working in Black Country trades including japanning, nailing and tinplating see M. Berg, The Age of Manufacturers, London, Fontana Press, 1984, p. 82, and I. Pinchbeck, Women Workers and the Industrial Revolution, London, Frank Cass, 1969, p. 275. The Age of Manufacturers 82 Google Scholar

S. Underwood, ‘Period rooms: The house of fiction has many windows,’ in Fleming et al., Social History, pp. 378-82. Google Scholar

N. Hedges and H. Beynon, Born to Work: Images of Factory Life, London, Pluto Press, 1982. Born to Work: Images of Factory Life Google Scholar

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See S. Mould, ‘The lock industry in the West Midlands,’ Black Countryman, Summer 1971. Google Scholar

A. M. Greene, Voices from the Shopfloor: Dramas of the Employment Relationship, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2001, p. 2. Voices from the Shopfloor: Dramas of the Employment Relationship 2 Google Scholar

A. M. Greene, J. Black, and P. Ackers, ‘Lost Narratives? From Paternalism to Team Working at a Lock Manufacturing Firm ’, Economic and Industrial Democracy, 22, 2, 2001, pp. 211-37. ‘Lost Narratives? From Paternalism to Team Working at a Lock Manufacturing Firm ’ Economic and Industrial Democracy 22 211 37 Google Scholar

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Stenner, The Lockmakers. Google Scholar

West, Making of the English Working Past, p. 60. Google Scholar

Although it should be noted that West, Making of the English Working Past, and T. Bennett ‘Museums are the people’, in Lumley (ed.), The Museum Time Machine, are even more critical of such large-scale reconstructions. Google Scholar

Stenner, The Lockmakers; Greene, ‘Employees, Managers and the Trade Union’; and J. Black, A. M. Greene, and P. Ackers, ‘Size and Effectiveness: A Case Study of a Small Union’, Industrial Relations Journal, 28, 2, 1997, pp. 136-48. ‘Size and Effectiveness: A Case Study of a Small Union’ Industrial Relations Journal 28 136 48 Google Scholar

The Lock Museum Newsletter, 52, Summer 2001. Google Scholar

Greene et al., ‘Lost Narratives’. It is also an interesting comparison to note that while the lock companies appear to have broken with their past, M. Rowlinson, ‘Public history review essay: Cadbury World’, Labour History Review, 67, 1, 2002, pp. 101-19, asserts that Cadbury has rediscovered theirs, perhaps because of the tourist/customer popularity of the product and the location. Google Scholar

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I. McKenzie Smith, ‘The museum as a cultural centre’, in Museums Are For the People, Edinburgh, Scottish Museums Council, HMSO, 1985, pp. 85-9. Museums Are For the People 85 9 Google Scholar

M. Trustram, ‘The labour history approach’, in Fleming et al., Social History, p. 76. Google Scholar

In this sense, the Lock Museum provides a very different story to some of its local counterparts —see the recent Labour History Review public history review essays on the Black Country Museum and Cadbury World. Additionally, the analyses of the Open Air Museums at Ironbridge by Bob West and at Beamish by Tony Bennett are illuminating in their critiques of these popular heritage sites — both in Lumley (ed.), The Museum Time Machine. Google Scholar

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Greene, Anne-Marie