CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save the area’s glass heritage have raised fears over the future of Wordsley’s historic Red House Glass Cone.
The Camp Hill tourist attraction - which showcases the area’s glassmaking traditions - is Dudley Council’s favoured site for relocating the borough’s glass collection, currently based at closure-threatened Broadfield House Glass Museum in Kingswinford.
But glass expert Charles Hajdamach, former principal museums officer for Dudley, claims one of the tunnels underneath the landmark 18th century cone is close to collapse - and the mortar used to point up the brickwork on the listed building has been deteriorating.
He told the News at a press conference at Dunsley Hall near Kinver on Friday June 12: “The tunnels are moving and one is nearly collapsing - and when it rains heavily it’s washing away the mortar on the brickwork. It’s frightening. It’s a major issue.”
Janet Hendry, spokeswoman for the Save Our Glass Heritage campaign, added: “This is the site they’re proposing to move all of our glass heritage to.”
The tunnel was used for transporting coal from canalboats into the cone in the glassmaking heyday.
A council spokesman said: “We have not been made aware of any existing issues with the Red House Glass Cone building.
“The feasibility study currently being carried out will take into account any issues of this kind."
The first part of the study is due to be completed by the end of July/early August.
Meanwhile - the Save Our Glass Heritage campaigners plan to get independent experts on board to carry out their own comprehensive study looking at how the borough can best showcase its glass collections and heritage.