THE Black Country Living Museum has reached a new milestone after it welcomed its ten millionth visitor this week.

Wednesday, February 19 saw the ten millionth visitor pass through the museum gates on Tipton Road.

The staggering number is a marked contrast to the modest 8,000 people who visited the open-air museum during its debut season in 1978.

Helen Ackroyd, from Nottingham, spent the day at the Dudley museum with her son Edward, aged six, daughter Felicity, aged four, as well as their uncle James and Auntie Kayleigh for a family half term day out.

The family received a golden ticket to celebrate the occasion which included a chauffeur-driven ride around the museum, a year's membership and complimentary fish and chips from famous Hobbs & Sons’.

Heidi said: “We’re absolutely over the moon to be the ten millionth visitor. What a surreal experience, we were completely surprised when the policeman character approached us to give us our prize.”

Andrew Lovett, Museum Chief Executive, said: “Welcoming ten million visitors is a historic milestone and we’re delighted to celebrate this with our visitors and staff today. I’d like to thank everyone who’s shown us their support by visiting us since 1978. To have attracted so many visitors is a validation of the strength of our storytelling and the quality of the experience we offer. We’re proud to have reached such a large audience over the years and to have had the opportunity to engage people with a story as rich and as globally significant as that of the Black Country.

"2020 is a historic year for BCLM in more ways than one. We’re about to begin construction of our new development, Forging Ahead, which alongside an up-to-the-minute new visitor welcome, will feature a new town and industrial quarter set in the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s.

"By celebrating the past, the Museum continues to make a positive contribution to the Black Country’s future.”