Visited Museum last Saturday with family and had a great couple of hours learning about the histroy of the leather industry in Walsall and having a go at embossing some leather key fobs. Staff/volunteers were very welcoming and friendly. Well worth a visit.
In November 2019, Master Jonjon said:
Let’s take a rest from Stafford and explore the smaller towns.
And it’s most unfortunate that the Walsall Museum has closed down and as library staff tells me – for three years now.
But instead here is a Leather Museum that’s in every sense the museum of Walsall.
START OF THE STORY. Before you're to enter the gallery the smell of wallets and purses is already filling up your senses.
And here’s how the gallery entrance starts its narrative – that Walsall used to be the biggest leather making town in the entire Northern Europe.
PERMANENT EXHIBITIONS. Creative use of leather – saddles, key fobs, even outfits for dogs. And they come from a variety of sources from pigs to snakes to anything less imaginable – like ostriches.
(Meanwhile a display board tells you that many English traditional surnames get their roots from leather makers – Barker, Skinner, Tanner etc.}
Upstairs a staffer will explain how saddles are made and their various types (weight, shapes, luxuriousness and materials etc.). And the balance between comfort, durability and lightness.
(As you can imagine – races typically involve lighter saddles.)
LOCATION. The museum is a ten-minute walk from Walsall Station.
Exit the station and keep walking north. You’ll be going through Station Street, Park Street, a roundabout and finally Wisemore. Cross the Littleton Street and the museum is right beside the Walsall College.
In November 2019, Mark R said:
Went to the Leather Museum with my wife and had an enjoyable visit finding out about the leather industry and seeing the workshops. Would recommend being able to make your own key ring for 60p. Parking available nearby.
In November 2019, Adrian K said:
ive been in there lovely old mill to visit you can learn all about leather there is a shop in there lovely place highly recommend by me
In October 2019, KaTieLami said:
Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area. Really interesting little museum and gorgeous leatherwork throughout.
Staff there were lovely and really helpful too - even offering to help my son make his own personalised leather key ring, which he loved.
Beautiful, quality leather items in the gift shop too!
In October 2019, jojonagle said:
Before we visited the museum, we had no idea what an important centre Walsall was in the leather industry. The guides were very informative and helpful. I bought a beautiful leather belt for my husband at a very reasonable price!
In October 2019, Eithne B said:
This museum gave a fascinating insight into the importance of the leather industry in Walsall's industrial history. Our group of 33 was split into 2 groups, and the 2 guided gave us a real insight into the working lives of men and women employed in the leather industry in the 19th century and into the importance of present-day Walsall in the production of very fine saddles. We were later let loose to emboss our own leather key rings before enjoying delicious tea and cake in the cafe.
In October 2019, GoPlaces579784 said:
took my cousin , who is from Blackpool, round museum. I think our 'guide' was called Ian. He was very knowledgable and shared where many 'sayings' originated from to do with leather. Made a very enjoyable morning. We made key rings and purchased lovely cards from the shop. All staff were very pleasant and helpful. Highly recommend a visit...free too!! well done Walsall
In October 2019, Vanessa J said:
I knew my Mom would enjoy walking around here and neither of us were disappointed, it was even better than I thought.... very interesting and some great displays. We were greeted my a lovely lady on reception,( who’ name I can’t remember) but very nice and helpful. We got to make some keying’s with another lovely lady and I can’t remember her name.... but I do remember Keith, he was doing some sewing and asked if we had some spare time, which we did so, He gave a great talk on different leathers and where they come from. His knowledge of the leathers was unbelievable, so interesting and I learnt a lot.... could have sat there for longer. Credit to you all, my Mom has been telling everyone what a fantastic place and a must.... definitely worth a visit and we’ll be going again. Thanks again to all the staff/ volunteers you do amazing job, it’s people like you that contribute and make the visit worth while.
In October 2019, IPA_Man said:
I spent a very enjoyable couple of hours at the museum. I had emailed in advance asking for info on my great grandfather's saddlery business, and on arrival was given some background paperwork helping my family history research. The exhibits tell the story of Walsall and leather in an easy to understand way with lots of pictures, samples etc. Well worth it.
In September 2019, Sarah8083 said:
Nice bit of local history. Very interesting and lots to look at. Nice little shop. Very friendly staff that couldn’t do enough for us. It’s free to go around and there is a donation box on the wall. Worth a visit. Loved making a key ring.
In September 2019, SilverNomad04 said:
Was short on time when came here so didn’t do it justice but looking at the limited displays, obviously all of leather hides and products made from, it didn’t hold my attention too much. I was given a colourful brochure listing all the events and activities they hold and here there is a lot going on between May & November. Their cafe is closed due to staff being unable to work the coffee machine!! But we got a good hot cup of tea and a packet of biscuits each for £2.50...can’t really grumble!
Would visit again just to smell the leather!!
In August 2019, secpat said:
This museum is a little gem. Very friendly knowledgeable voluntee staff, who have actually worked in the leather industry. They are happy to share their wealth of knowledge. Hands on so great for kids. This museum is a credit to the history of the leather industry in Walsall. Easy parking on Day st pay and display. Or if you like free at Tescos if you spend £5. McDonalds across the road so great day out for the kids.
In August 2019, Nicola H said:
Great place to take the family to learn about past, very helpful and friendly staff and great activities for the kids.
In August 2019, Muchneededrest said:
Went with family and friends to be educated on walsall leather making saddles etc.
Walsall was well known and still is for it's leather factories so the museum in itself was very entertained in showing us from start to finish in saddlery business. Also handbags.
I just love the smell of leather
In August 2019, anitad168 said:
A museum in a historic building in the heart of Walsall.. Informative and friendly staff who knew all about leather making in the area. Good to know it still exists in the local area. Good to have a momento to take home that you make yourself.. Car park alongside the museum £1.50 for 2 hours and the museum is free. Definately worth a visit.
In August 2019, Deborah W said:
Excellent small museum, informative and hands on. Plenty of interactive things for children. Helpful and interesting staff. A lovely gift shop selling leather goods. A little gem!
In August 2019, Christine A said:
Visited recently. Free Entry. Staff were brilliant. Very knowledgeable..
We made some leather key rings, with a little help from the staff, for our grandchildren. Well worth a visit.
In August 2019, Brendan P said:
It is a lovely little place full of local stuff of interest and with a lovely little if not slightly expensive cafe there. been many times with work and seen more than most people get to. Lots of activities for the kid to do but check first they are on and they can make stuff to take home and a small shop. Best combine visit to other local stuff on the day. there are many local manufactures of leather stuff in Walsall who would happily show you around some of them with royal approval and international status like Ettinger leather to name but one
In August 2019, Rosalie P said:
This museum tells the story of the leather trade in Walsall, with good information boards and displays of leather items, particularly saddlery.. Opportunity to produce a leather fob for a key ring, and an entertaining former worker telling stories of his experiences. And it's free!
In August 2019, RichardBarkwaySmith said:
It was an amazing visit finding out how leather put Walsall on the map world wide. And still does to this day. The boards were very interesting to read and to keep the children happy they can do a quiz for a prize at the end. There were two activities taking place when we went firstly make you own badge and also design your own keyring. It's not the biggest site but it's ample for a few hours. There was a tea room inside but we didn't use it. Carpark is near and is only £1.50 for two hours. We were there for 2 hours.
In August 2019, Paul Wood said:
Walsall Leather Museum is a wonderful, interesting place. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable, and very helpful. An optional guided tour is offered. Coffee and snacks are available. Entry is free, it is well worth a visit.
In July 2019, Alison W said:
We visited this delightful little museum today. Good exhibits, very informative.
The volunteers are amazing, we could have spent the whole day listening to Wendy in the workshop she very knowledgeable. Claire behind the shop counter was extremely helpful.
Thank you for making our visit so much fun and very memorable.
In July 2019, ArchwayAcademy said:
A very interesting place to visit as it takes you back to the 1960's era. Very interacted too as you get to make a key-ring with a choice of your own design. The staff are very informative and friendly.
In July 2019, Philip M said:
Very interesting and good for the young to see local history of the town they're from.
Were able to try minor procedures and make a few items for themselves.