It was just the right sort of day to visit a brush museum. Nothing much else going on. A crisp, sunny day at last, and a trip to Mere – home of Hillbrush, seemed the right choice.
I’ve been thinking of visiting Mere for ages but it’s a long way to go just to see some brushes. Ah, but Hillbrush today is not just about brushes, it’s more what you call an ‘experience’. Its new premises called Visit Hillbrush have not been open long, sitting alongside the factory on Castle Street, just outside Mere on the B3092.
You enter the Visitor Centre through the shop which sells brushes of every shape, size and colour for every domestic job, for horse grooming, even for getting dust and crumbs off your keybaord – and more. The cafe/restaurant sits in the centre, the musuem at the back. It’s sort of open plan and you can see and hear what is going on elsewhere.
The Hill Brush Company Ltd (HBC) is one of the largest UK based manufacturers of brushware and hygienic cleaning tools. The Hill Brush Company was established by brothers Fred and Bill Coward in 1922 and based in Woodlands Road since 1936.
There are interesting displays of early brushes and machinery and the variety of material imported from around the world to make different bristles. I liked seeing the early toothbrushes, and an electric hairbrush, and the video of the robot putting the bristles at break-neck speed into the head of a huge broom. What progress! A far cry from early brush makers, a craft which is still practised today. Spitalfields Life