Kidderminster's carpet industry remembered with museum

Hand loom A hand loom that will be exhibited in the new museum

The retiring chief executive of the Carpet Foundation has said the sharp decline in demand is something the industry "should have seen coming".

Michael Hardiman spent 47 years working in carpet manufacturing in Kidderminster, Worcestershire.

In the 1950s 12,000 people worked making carpets in the town, now only a tenth of that figure are employed.

His comments come as plans continue for the opening of a carpet museum in Kidderminster in 2012.

Kidderminster carpets

  • The first Kidderminster carpet was woven in 1735
  • It was woven so that it could be turned over once one side was worn out
  • Carpets made in Kidderminster have been laid in Buckingham Palace, Downing Street and the White House
  • There are now only four firms left making carpets in the town

Mr Hardiman said he had seen a "massive decline" in the number of people employed making carpets.

He said the decline was caused by increasing competition from Europe, and a change in the type of carpets the public wanted to buy.

He has welcomed the decision to open a carpet museum in the town, based in the old Stour Vale Mill.

"People who walk around Kidderminster couldn't have any idea of what it was like 50 years ago - it's important for people to know that where we are today is a result of where we came from," he said.

The Carpet Museum Trust has been given £1.7m of lottery funding to set up the museum.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Hereford & Worcester

Weather

Worcester

16 °C 7 °C

Features

  • chocolate cake and strawberriesTrick your tongue

    Would this dessert taste different on a black plate?


  • Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George leaving New Zealand'Great ambassadors'

    How New Zealand reacted to William, Kate - and George


  • Major Power Failure ident on BBC2Going live

    Why BBC Two's launch was not all right on the night


  • Front display of radio Strange echoes

    The mysterious 'numbers stations' left over from the Cold War era


  • A letter from a Somali refugee to a Syrian child'Be a star'

    Children's uplifting letters of hope to homeless Syrians


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.