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11 Feb 2022

New Acquisition:
Walsall Road Allotment Tokens

We are delighted to announce that Birmingham Museums Trust has acquired two Walsall Road Allotment tokens into Birmingham’s collection. The brass tokens celebrate the successful campaign to protect Walsall Road allotments.

The campaign involved several plot holders from the allotments with the help of seven stray cats who call the allotments home, including @AllotmentCat on Twitter. In a space of three months the campaign gathered 16,000 signatures from all over the world.

The celebratory brass tokens were designed by Alice McLean based on drawings by some of the plot holders at the allotments in Perry Barr. The designs were commissioned by CraftSpace as part of the We Are Commoners project and were conceived and delivered by artist Alice McLean and curator Justine Boussard .

A display case with three brass tokens, two photographs and three information cards.

Alice and Justine are thrilled that the tokens will now have a place in the city’s museum collection. "The plotholders made history twice: when they saved their common, and when they co-created these tokens. These little etched pieces of brass can now go on to tell the epic tale of these fantastic humans and their 7 cats."

Emma McMullen, Birmingham History Research Assistant at Birmingham Museums Trust, said: “We are delighted to have acquired the Walsall Road Allotment tokens into the city’s collection. These unique objects tell an important local story and will represent the significance of community-led action and grassroots campaigns in Birmingham for future visitors to learn from and be inspired by.”

The tokens will be on display at Birmingham Museum & Art gallery when it reopens on 28th April.

A blond woman wearing a light blue top and a brunette woman wearing a black top are both holding a black display item with two brass Walsall Road Allotment tokens on it.