THERE were tears of sadness at Broadfield House Glass Museum in Kingswinford yesterday (Wednesday) as the world famous museum closed its doors to the public for the last time.

The museum, considered one of the most important of its kind in the world, shut up shop at 4pm yesterday – now work has got underway to create a replacement museum on the old White House Glass Cone site in Wordsley.

Former operations manager John Smith, who worked at Broadfield in Compton Drive for 22 years, described the closure as “like losing a friend”.

He said: “It’s very sad. It’s a beautiful museum. I don’t think I’ll ever see the likes of these displays again.”

Charles Hajdamach, the borough’s former principle museums officer, said having a last look around the museum was “very emotional” and he added: “It was one of the great glass museums of Europe – there’s no doubt about that.

“People are very, very sad that such an amazing place should be closed.”

Dudley Council bosses have had the museum earmarked for closure since 2009 as part of an ongoing drive to cash.

They say the new £5.5million museum, being developed by Complex Development Projects and the British Glass Foundation following a £2million European Regional Development Fund grant, will enable the borough’s glass collection to be showcased in a more accessible and visitor friendly fashion than is possible at the listed Broadfield building which is to be sold off to help fund the new state-of-the-art tourist attraction in Camp Hill.

Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, Dudley’s cabinet member responsible for tourism, said: “The new purpose-built facility will have more space to showcase the historic glass and the proud industrial heritage that helped create it, something which has been welcomed by the British Glass Foundation who will run the new facility.”

The glass collection is to be transferred to the BGF on a 125-year lease, and the cataloguing of the delicate pieces, many of which are priceless, will now get underway ahead of the move to the new museum - which is expected to open in the autumn of 2016.

Until the new facility is open the glass will not be available to view, but pieces can be seen online.