Coffin Works’ ’10FOR10′ Campaign

Group of women holding balloons that depict number 10.

The award-winning Coffin Works will be 10 years old on 28th October. We’ve achieved so much in that time and built something special, including our wonderful team of volunteers and now we’re looking to mark the past decade by launching our ‘10 for 10’ campaign. To mark our 10th-birthday celebrations, we’re looking for people to […]

Coffin Works Museum awarded a £101,989 grant from DCMS

The Shroud Room, sewing machines in front of windows

The Coffin Works is one of 26 museums nationwide to receive a Museum Estate and Development Fund (MEND) grant! The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) sponsors a number of non-departmental public bodies to help deliver national priorities relating to digital, culture, media and sport. Those with responsibility for sectors covered by MEND include: […]

Shortlisted nominees announced for the 22nd annual Museums + Heritage Awards  

The Coffin Works Museum is pleased yet again to have been shortlisted for a Museum+Heritage Award, this time in the category of Volunteer(s) of the Year in partnership with the Heritage Volunteering Group. The nomination is in memory of the late Vickie Jones, who had volunteered with us since 2015. She unexpectedly died in November […]

The Newman Sisters

We know a lot about the Newman Brothers, but not so much about the Newman Sisters, and there were four of them. Thanks to census data and a bit of newspaper research, their legacy is not lost and in honour of International Women’s Day we’re highlighting their stories this March. And we promise to keep […]

The Mystery of Edwin Newman: Bankruptcy, Buckingham Street and Another Brother

Since we opened the museum nearly ten years ago, the mystery of Edwin Newman has flummoxed us. Frustratingly we’ve never been able to determine why after setting up the Fleet Works with his brother, Alfred, just one year later the partnership was dissolved. The Fleet Works, otherwise known as Newman Brothers Coffin Furniture Works, was […]

Trustees’ Week at the Coffin Works: Introducing Annette French

Introducing Annette, one of our new Trustees. Annette joined our Board in November 2022, but she’s been a champion of ours for a long time, even offering guidance for our Museum Accreditation journey a few years back.   Here’s what it means to be a Trustee in the words of Annette herself: “I’d wanted to […]

Coffin Works awarded VisitEngland Hidden Gem Accolade

VisitEngland announced on Thursday this week the winners of its Visitor Attraction Accolades for 2022-2023, recognising the high-quality visitor experiences on offer across England. Following our recent VisitEngland Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme assessment, we’re pleased to share the exciting news that The Coffin Works has been awarded a VisitEngland Hidden Gem Accolade. This accolade is […]

From Yardley to Saxony to Sparkhill: Edwin Gordon Newman’s journey home

black and white image of coffin works' workforce

Adele Burns, the great-great granddaughter of Edwin Newman (joint founder of Newman Brothers) was recently in touch to update us on a bit of Newman-family history and how she’s been inspired to look into her Newman ancestry. She messaged saying that she’d discovered some information on one of Edwin Newman’s sons.   Edwin had nine […]

A Census update

Sewing machines in the shroud room. Brightly coloured cotton reels can be seen in the foreground

It’s been a year since we published our blog on the previously unknown Newman Brothers’ workforce we discovered as a result of the publication of the 1921 census. We were happy with that, but it appears that there’s even more out there and it’s the census that keeps on giving. We’ve found additional names to […]

A family found and a mystery solved (well, nearly)

Newman Brothers was established in 1882 by two brothers, Alfred and Edwin Newman. Edwin, born in 1856, was four years older than Alfred. The brothers entered into partnership as brass founders, making fittings for cabinets, from rented premises. But in 1892 they decided to commission a state-of-the-art manufactory, dedicated solely to the production of coffin […]