Friends of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums

Join the Friends and support the museum by helping at events, fundraising, volunteering or just by visiting the museums. Click here to join now >

Plus don't miss the exciting and information-packed Friends Facebook Group.

Join the Friends of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum

The Friends of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum (reg. charity no 518657) exist to support the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust and its mission to protect the fascinating stories of innovation and invention that took place in the Ironbridge Gorge, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century.

By becoming a Friend, you will directly be supporting the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust and its work across all the museums, its heritage conservation and education projects. Each Friend also receives the following benefits as part of their membership: 

  • 10% discount in all Museum catering outlets and shops
  • Discounts on special events
  • Priority booking
  • Member only entry at Blists Hill at busy times
  • Friends only events
  • Free parking at museum car parks (excludes car parks managed by Telford & Wrekin Council)
  • Free admission to the Friends Talks Programme
  • Access to Friends trips and social events
  • Friends Newsletter

Friends also play an important role in ‘museum life’ getting involved in the following ways:

  • Staffing exhibits
  • Providing a trained guiding service
  • Purchasing important additions to the Museum’s collections
  • Providing ‘Kick-start’ donations for larger national grants
  • Researching into the social history of the area, recording memories and volunteering in the Library and Archive collections
  • Contributing specialised knowledge and interests

Please contact us on 01952 435 900 or email

Click here to see the Friends' updated Privacy Policy.

An update from the Friends Committee (March 2024)

The onset of the main visitor season for the Museum is reflected in the increased range of activities that the Friends of the Museum are involved in; the Friends have been a source of support to the Ironbridge Gorge Museum for over 50 years, enabling it to tell the ‘Ironbridge Story’ to all its visitors.

Membership of the Friends provides financial support to the Museum but as a Friend there are many other ways to help: you could be a volunteer at one of the Museum sites, learn new skills by getting involved behind the scenes or by simply spreading the message about the Museum and the work of the Friends in supporting it.

Friends gather for a behind the scenes tour of the Craven Dunnill works at Jackfield Tile Museum

As a Friend you will be entitled to attend our monthly programme of talks or enjoy exclusive experiences that enable you to meet the Curators, take behind the scenes tours and attend special events plus you will have the benefit of a 10% discount on your retail and catering purchases at the Museum along with free car parking at the Museum sites.

Friends Talks Programme Spring/Summer 2024

The Friends Talks are held in the Glass Classroom at Coalbrookdale and provide an interesting mix of topics related to the industrial age in general and the Ironbridge Gorge in particular, free to the Friends but available to anyone else at £1 admission.

Talks schedule

  • March 27 Wednesday 2,30pm – Conserving the Historic Estate by Lucy Oldnall, Project Director.
  • April 24 Wednesday 2.30pm – Exhibition of Iron (Exploring the Science of Iron) by Lauren Collier, Head of Interpretation at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. To be followed by a private tour of the Exhibition of Iron before it opens to the public.
  • 29 May Wednesday 7.30pm – Maw &Co., Biggest and Best? By Robert Higgins
  • 12 June Wednesday 7.30pm – Friends AGM followed by Collections and Learning Update from the Museum Collections and Learning Team

The Friends have always offered their support to the Museum in a variety of ways whether it is in the form of volunteering, advising or in providing vital financial assistance for a much needed project. Currently the public focus of one of the Friends projects is the rescue of the Sentinel engines housed at the Museum of Iron, Coalbrookdale; volunteers from the ‘Steam Team’ have been working on these rare engines throughout the winter, the current stage of their progress can be seen under the arch of the viaduct by the entrance to the Museum

Sentinel Project Volunteer

The donation of the archive of the famous historian of the Industrial Age, LTC Rolt, was a real coup for the Museum but such a prolific writer on so many aspects of this Age left mountains of documents on canals, railways, motor transport and even a few ghost stories! To sort and catalogue this material required expert help and an army of volunteers, as the picture below shows:


Volunteers with the many boxes of the Rolt Archive

In recognition of the great man and to mark the 50th anniversary of his death there will be a Conference held at the Museum, in conjunction with Keele University, between 9-11 May 2024 (details available on the Museum website) at which many of the volunteers will be present.

The support of the Friends to the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust throughout the past 54 years has been acknowledged by the Trust as being vital to its existence, helping in its mission to preserve, interpret and explain the industrial history of the Ironbridge Gorge.

You can become part of that support by joining the Friends via the Friends Administrator at: and keep up with the latest news of our and the Museum’s activities by joining the Friends Facebook Page at: Friends of Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. Or by joining us on Instagram: @friendsofigm.

Join our Facebook group


You can become part of that support by joining the Friends via the Friends Administrator at: and keep up with the latest news of our and the Museum’s activities by joining the Friends Facebook Page at: Friends of Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. Or by joining us on Instagram: @friendsofigm.

If a volunteer role is something that might interest you, our Volunteer Coordinator, Lesley Walker, would be delighted to hear from you.

A variety of roles exist from costumed support to ‘behind the scenes’.

Please email Lesley for more information (

Volunteer Coffee Mornings are held on the first Friday of each month and are a great way to find out more and meet people. Contact Lesley for details of the venue and topic of the next one.