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Jail museum man wants Gloucester Prison as a ghost attraction

By The Citizen  |  Posted: June 11, 2013

Comments (8)

THE owner of a controversial jail museum has got his eye on Gloucester Prison.

Andy Jones, whose Littledean Jail museum displays items from murderers including Rose West and Myra Hyndley, said if his bid to buy the 222-year-old jail on The Quay succeeds, he would keep it as original as possible.

Malmaison, the firm behind Oxford's former jailhouse hotel has expressed an interest in the complex, which is mainly Victorian but parts of which date back to a castle keep.

It's believed 122 convicts who were hanged there were buried under the prison.

"It's in the hands of the Ministry of Justice," said Mr Jones, who moved his Crime Through Time Museum from Newent to Littledean 10 years ago.

"I would like to retain it as it is. I know if a hotel was built there, its character would change.

"I would allow it to be used for ghost tours and a Gloucester Prison exhibition."

The 321 inmates and 200 staff had gone from the site by March, following a decision from the Ministry of Justice.

A spokesman for the Government department said no decisions on its future had been taken.

"The Ministry of Justice is working with Gloucester City Council and others to discuss potential future uses of the HMP Gloucester site," he said. "No decisions have yet been made."

Gloucester City Council leader Paul James said the MoJ was consulting the council as the planning authority.

"There are a number of potential uses which it could be turned to and from a planning point of view the council would consider a museum in the same way it would consider other potential uses."

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  • NotThis  |  June 13 2013, 9:08AM

    Please do all take your children to 'Crime Through Time'. Make sure they see everything including the action man figures enacting a rape scene (complete with fake blood) plus the prostitute calling cards. Then come back here and tell me you want this for Gloucester...

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  • Wurzellaydee  |  June 13 2013, 9:08AM

    In total agreement with 'Notthis' and 'BusterGlos'. I'm very open minded but the Crime Through Time museum is deeply horrid. Is it really ok to show Action Men dressed up as Nazis, raping prisoners of war? Or a lampshade made of Jewish skin? All out of any historical context at all? Gloucester needs more 'high end' venues and The Docks are a huge asset to Gloucester - we need some thing special and impressive for the Old Pridon site.

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  • NotThis  |  June 13 2013, 9:03AM

    Just to be clear, I would very much be in favour of a quality museum about the jail and its history. Something like that would be brilliant. The pseudo-pornographic museum Andy Jones already operates strongly suggests to me that we wouldn't get this though.

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  • KerryLewis  |  June 12 2013, 7:17PM

    BishopHooper I love your comments! I still feel that the old jail would be a total waste if it didn't stay as some sort of attraction, it has SO much history, and so much that we may not even know of yet! A museum would be a great idea I think, with ghost walks for the evenings and nights. And people may pay to dig things up to try and find more out about the jail and it's history. You never know, Time Team, may want to have a gander. A hotel would be thee worst thing to put in the old prison. We have loads of big branch ones around, and B&B's found all over the place. We need more tourist attractions in Gloucester, Bristol has so much to offer compared to us, and being born in Gloucester I'd love to go to a museum to learn more about not only the prison but the entire history of the building.

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  • BishopHooper  |  June 12 2013, 2:50PM

    Any suggestion is better than a White Elephant hotel that no one will use. I Find NotThis's comments quite objectionalable to be honest, just because it doesn't ring your bell - it doesn't mean its a bad idea. I find the Cat Curiosities at Jamaica Inn in on Bodmin Moor objectionable, but its attracts thousands of tourists a year and is open to all. How many will this 'hotel' attract... not as many i suspect. But as ever when it comes to the Docks.. 'Money talks' so you know what will happen. Developers 1 - Citizens of Gloucester 0... again. But I'm sure the fat cats in the council will be happy.

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  • BusterGlos  |  June 11 2013, 7:51PM

    It would be a travesty for Andy Jones to get his hands on Gloucester prison. Littledean jail is just a place for him to house his newspaper cut outs on celebrity scandal which is on the verge of pornographic. There is no focus on the history of the jail and little regarding 'Crime trough Time'. It would be such a waste for Gloucester Prison be another historic building ruined to promote his personal collection with the true history of the building being lost. I hate to say it but even a hotel would be a better option!

  • NotThis  |  June 11 2013, 7:17PM

    For anyone considering supporting this museum proposal I would strongly suggest you visit the 'Crime Through Time' museum at Littledean first as an indication of the likely qualities of another jail based museum from the same proprietor. I'm not easily shocked but I honestly found Crime Through Time to be objectionable on almost all levels. To call it a museum is really an insult to the wealth of high quality museums in this country. Crime Through Time is more aptly described as a freak show in my opinion. The museum presents the most barbaric and outrageous acts and artefacts with a complete lack of historical context or educational content. It's sole purpose is to be shocking. Much of the museum content is presented insensitively, lacks integrity and left me feeling feeling like my very attendance belittled the suffering of the victims the museum so successfully exploits to bring cash through the door. Materials are explicit for the sake of it, in some cases sexually, with calling cards displayed in an old phone box for example. On the whole, I fear that a similar development would damage Gloucester at a pivotal time in it's regeneration. Please let the site be used for anything but this use.

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  • GloucesterLad  |  June 11 2013, 12:10PM

    I'd rather have this guy takeover it than some hotel.

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