THE FUND-RAISING campaign to help get Avoncroft Museum back on its feet after a heartless vandal attack has seen £40,000 donated in four days.
Yobs got into the site overnight between Saturday and Sunday, smashing the historic buildings’ windows and breaking ornaments, plates and other heritage items.
The venue had only just reopened for the first time since October because of lockdowns and Covid restrictions.
Thousands of pounds worth of damage was caused and the museum, which was hoping to recoup some of the revenue lost during the pandemic, was forced to shut on Sunday and bank holiday Monday.
The news led to thousands of reactions and messages of support on social media and hundreds of pledges to help, including volunteers with brushes and brooms cleaning up the site and tradespeople offering to board up properties, carry out repairs or donate glass.
Thanks to the tenacity of staff, volunteers and donors, temporary measures have been put in place so Avoncroft will be back open tomorrow and Sunday, May 8 and 9.
Bosses at the museum said the amount raised was ‘incredible’ and thanked everyone for their support.
“We are feeling very loved and upheld by our local community – thank you all.
“We will be working through the list of offers and contacting those we most need in due course.”
Aside from the financial loss, some of the buildings need specialist glass and an inventory of all the items destroyed in the two cottages will have to be carried out so they can be replaced.
“We are considering temporary plain glazing to ensure the site looks its best for the summer – but we’re not going to let a few boarded windows get in the way of opening the outdoors for the rest of May.”
Bosses also thanked West Mercia Police for their assistance, along with stepped up officer and dog patrols.
Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid, who visited the site on Sunday, condemned the attack.
He said: “It is appalling and deeply upsetting to see this damage caused by such mindless vandalism.
“As I saw myself, the damage is extensive. Avoncroft Museum is a fantastic part of our local heritage and culture.”
Visit avoncroft.org.uk/make-a-donation/ to donate to the fund-raising appeal.
People wanting to visit the museum needs to book tickets online at avoncroft.org.uk and anyone with information on the vandalism should call police on 101.