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.
We are sorry to disappoint all those who have been waiting for an announcement of a confirmed re-opening date. The internal construction and fit-out of a new café, conference
hall and Archive Dept. is taking longer than expected due to contractual issues.
Already much has been completed and a brand new interior is taking shape in a quite spectacular manner. New hands-on and interactive displays are in process of being constructed ready for installation . . . . including a ‘Drive a Lorry’ simulator for young children to enjoy.
It will all be worthwhile !
Contractors working both inside and outside the museum are making good progress. The following pictures give an idea of repairs and alterations being made.
Internally our Archives Dept. will be housed within new brightly lit offices. Provision is being made for visitors to view how images on old glass plate photographs are digitised and then carefully restored. A new café will be sited closer to the museum entrance instead of its previous position in the heart of the exhibition hall. And an up to the minute conference hall / cinema will replace the poor facilities previously available.
Externally, a new fully weatherproof and insulated roof is already in place. The museum frontage is being re-cladded and then the scaffolding,which currently encompasses the building, will be removed.
There is still considerable work to be carried out for exhibition displays. These will include several interactive units to be both informative and entertaining. We will be announcing the re-opening date once we are closer to completion of work currently in progress
It might seem to be a long time for a refurbishment to reach completion, but the amount of construction work
both externally and internally is huge.
Replacing the old leaking and uninsulated roof with a new one (now completed); re-siting and constructing a new
café, shop and conference centre (all with new heating and lighting systems) and fitting-out the exhibition hall with
displays, audio visual equipment etc. cannot be achieved quickly. The results will be spectacular!
Yes, we are getting closer to completion but unable as yet to give a firm opening date. The picture below is an
artist’s impression of how the foyer, café and shop may appear
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.
Installing the new roof system has meant using exacting design details/procedures and employing skilled contractors using specialist equipment. See photos below.
The museum is now a construction site for both internal and external structural modifications prior to heating and lighting engineers installing new systems, prior to exhibition design contractors fitting out a totally new display inside the exhibition hall.
Eventually we will have a virtually brand new museum – with café & gift shop open independently to the public, and a stunning museum which will attract visitors from far and wide.
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).
PLEASE NOTE that viewing this display is restricted to trade delegations visiting the Leyland Trucks Ltd factory, and is NOT available for public viewing.
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’ !
The huge task of dismantling existing displays & the temporary removal of vehicles has begun. Our volunteers are to be praised for their efforts & endless enthusiasm given in carrying out the difficult & sometimes strenuous work involved. Contractors will move in shortly to commence removal of the roof from the building, and then replace it with a brand new one.
The following pictures provide an insight to what is happening.