The Museum's History
In Anglo Saxon times the area named ‘Leyland’ referred to nothing more than an area of unploughed fields through which Roman roads passed. The town of Leyland as we know it today, has developed largely due to the growth and expansion of the bus and truck manufacturer named after the town.
The museum building was formally part of Leyland Motor’s and the town’s history. It dates from the 1930s and formed part of the company’s South Works. For most of its life it housed the Customer Inspection Department, where lorries and buses arriving from production were closely inspected by purchasers before they took delivery.
It was in 1983 that the building was transformed into The Museum. It was too cold to open to the public in winter months and the roof frequently needed repair to keep out the rain. However, there has now been a complete transformation as a result of Heritage Lottery Funding, and generous support too from several sponsors. The old café and cinema were demolished, and new facilities provided. A ‘State-of-the Art’ Conference Suite and a new building for the Archive Dept. have been constructed. There are new heating and lighting systems installed, and the layout of the exhibition hall totally changed. We now have a motor museum which should be high on the list for anyone seeking ‘somewhere to go’!
Part of Leyland Motors Factory in 1930’s
“The end of a shift for hundreds of workers”.
“Production of Leyland steam lorries ended.”
During the 1950’s
“Diesel engines power heavier but still slow lorries. More petrol companies competing for business.”
The museum was founded in 1983
“A motor museum to preserve Britain’s heritage in the design and manufacture of trucks and buses.”
Through the 1990’s
“Although only open during summer months, the museum attracts visitors from far and wide.”
Museum logo rebrand in 2018
“A bright new future for this unique motor museum starts with a bright new identity.”
Renovation & reopening in 2018
“Out with the old and in with the new. We welcome you to one of the finest and friendliest motor museums… anywhere!”.
The Museum and its Aims
The Museum is self-funding and does not receive government assistance or support for meeting the huge overhead costs encountered in carrying out the valuable work done. We rely on our own abilities, together with the generous support received from our sponsors, to maintain sustainability.
John Gilchrist (Chairman)
Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Carmen and Freeman of the City of London.
Chair of Trustees, British Commercial Vehicle Museum.
He brings a wealth of experience, both in creative design and an expert overview of the design and construction processes of numerous types of projects, plus an in-depth knowledge of the Construction Industry.
With a life-long interest in anything mechanical and engineering, Tim is a disciple of the LEAN manufacturing philosophy. Always looking at ways to help clients grow and improve their businesses
Prior to becoming a consultant, Chris worked in a number of senior positions in the heritage and tourism sectors. She was Managing Director of Magna, a science centre and conference venue in Rotherham, a Director of Tourism South East, and the Marketing Director of Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth and Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh. She has held a number of Board positions and currently sits on the Board of a multi-academy trust.
Bill is a Vice President of Lancashire County Cricket Club and was Honorary Treasurer for many years of the former Lancashire Cricket Board.
The Heritage Café
Our Mission & Vision
The museum is dedicated to protecting and preserving that part of the nation’s heritage which brought about world renowned developments in transport; from the improvement of roads to the building of vehicles that run on them. In doing so, the museum’s aim is to inspire people to learn more of what the nation has achieved by working closely with the community wherever possible. The end result being on-going achievements within educational projects, and at the same time bringing enjoyment to people of all age groups.
Schools, colleges and those wishing to further their interests, will not only learn about Transport Development over the years but also enjoy an insight into Social History.
The exhibits and the fine way in which they are presented will make you want to learn even more. Leading to discussions which will be both enlightening and enjoyable.
So many unexpected surprises. Time and time again we hear visitors openly state how much they have enjoyed themselves.