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The Mechanics Institute

The Mechanics Institute

The Mechanics Institute founded in 1849 sat on the site of what until recently was the Post Office in the High Street in Bromsgrove.

The aims of the Mechanics Institute were to “provide the working classes with the means of rationally enjoying their leisure time, and also to those adults and children who are employed during the day, the opportunity of instruction through the medium of Evening Classes”.

Its founders were “a school master called Joseph Witheford ….. along with his brother Benjamin and a nailmaster called Edward Perkins”.

On 7th August 1964, the Bromsgrove Messenger reported “further changes to Bromsgrove’s High Street as another gap in the Georgian facade had appeared. The former seed shop, where in the 1860’s the Messenger was first produced, was now being demolished.  The property has also once been the Bromsgrove Mechanics Institute”.

The area of the High Street in question as it looked originally can be seen below:

Extract from an 1883 Bromsgrove street plan

….. from an 1883 Bromsgrove street plan

Richard Duffill was resident librarian of the Literary & Mechanics Institute from 1868 to 1871 when it occupied these premises in the High Street.

The New Road premises of the Bromsgrove Institute and School of Science & Art, successor to the Literary & Mechanics Institute and School of Art in the High Street, can be seen below:

The Institute and School of Science & Art in New Road

The Institute and School of Science & Art in New Road