The transformation of the museum has been hugely successful. The bright new entrance hall is a welcoming place which leads directly into either Emma’s Café, the Exhibition Hall or the Museum Shop. Beautifully preserved exhibits dating from the days of horse-drawn buses right up to modern day electric lorries are on display. There are plenty of hands-on kiosks to inform and provide enjoyment for everyone, and a chance too for those who want to experience our brand new ‘Drive a Lorry’ simulator. For those seeking to learn a bit more, or pass on their own experiences of transport through the ages, our team of volunteers make this one of the friendliest museums to spend time
The museum re-opens on Saturday 26th January following a long refurbishment programme which has seen major alterations taking place. The café has been re-sited to be closer to the museum entrance; the old cinema dismantled and replaced by a state of the art Conference Suite and a brand new Archives Department constructed within the existing building; a new highly improved lighting system installed.
An impressive ‘Time Line’ of archive photographs & projected videos on the museum walls traces the history of road transport from the earliest of days right up to present times. There are many hands-on interactive displays to entertain all age groups, and a specially designed ‘Lorry Driving Experience’ for the young and young at heart. Not to forget of course the fine display of historic vehicles, engines and transport related artifacts. The shop too, has also been re-sited and offers many souvenirs and gifts.
Follows are some pictures showing work in progress prior to the re-opening
We are moving closer to announcing a date for re-opening the museum. New interactive consoles and a specially designed Lorry Driving Simulator for children (and their elders !!??) are already installed.
Historic steam driven vehicles, lorries, vans and buses are being moved into their show positions, ready for final cleaning and polishing, and the new Archive Department is being settled into its new internal offices ready for housing thousands of photographs on glass plates. The brand new air-conditioned Conference Suite is now complete and able to accommodate up to 70 persons and is available for special functions too.
The newly constructed ‘Emma’s Cafe’ is already open to the public – even when the museum itself might be closed ! (see attached photo) – and the adjacent Gift Shop will shortly be open too.
Final preparations are now in hand prior to the Exhibition Hall itself being re-opened. Vehicle brass work (and some of the historic vehicles have plenty of it !) are being polished; artefacts are now being placed in display cases, and wall mounted displays being attached. This all takes time of course.
The new roof is now virtually completely installed, together with insulation which previously never existed ! Demolition of what used to be the café and the cinema left a great pile of rubble (see photo) which was quickly cleared . . . leaving a huge empty floor space (see photo). This floor area will now become exhibition space.
Neither the café nor the cinema were ideally situated, being at the opposite end of the building to the museum entrance. The NEW café and NEW conference hall/cinema will be located near the front museum entrance, close to the newly designed shop.
The archives, which were previously ‘hidden away upstairs’ will now be located at the far end of the exhibition hall. Visitors will be able to see the extent of documents and historic photographs held, and watch as pictures seemingly damaged beyond use, are painstakingly restored. (You can see many of these restored photos by clicking on ‘Image Archives’ at the top of the page – various sizes are available for sale on-line).
We have had many email enquiries asking about the re-opening date of the museum.
It is not possible as yet to give a firm date, as so much work remains to be done. A new heating system will ensure that we will be able to open the museum throughout the year . . . those of you who have braved some really low temperatures can breathe a sigh of relief ! And a new lighting/electrical system will help transform the museum into a place you will want to return to . . . time and time again.
Keep a check too on our Facebook entries! We’d please to see any comments you wish to make.
Slowly we are making progress ! Although hampered by the weather, the building is now sheathed in scaffolding and we are about to have the old roof removed and a new one constructed.
The new one will incorporate quality insulation materials to help conserve heat & improve comfort for our visitors.
Photos depict the scaffolders at finishing stages and a somewhat deserted museum exhibition hall, . . . . . although it is now empty and ready for exhibition contractors to move in.
We’ll keep ‘NEWS’ updated periodically !
Work on refurbishment has commenced! The interior display has been removed. Vehicle exhibits safely stored, with several now being on show in the Leyland Trucks factory assembly hall (see photographs below).
Scaffolding to the exterior is in place and removal of the existing roof is now under way. The new roof and insulation should be in place in early springtime upon which a brand new display encompassing latest information display systems (together with historic vehicles) will be constructed. The end result will be a brand new museum, providing an exhilarating experience for visitors from ALL age groups.
In recognition of the huge amount of work carried out by our many volunteers, a visit to the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry was made just before Christmas. A buffet in the museum’s Bistro ‘went down well’ !