Steam Weekend 2019

Despite the cold and often wet weather, Dundee Museum of Transport’s first big event for 2019 – The Spring Model Steam Weekend – was enjoyed by all. The heavy rain on Saturday stopped the outdoor engines from being able to run however by Sunday we were back on track. Here are some images from the weekend!

Our next Steam Weekend will take place on the last weekend in September however before then we have a fantastic line-up of events including The National Drive-It Day on the 28th of April and our Truck Extravaganza on the 19th of May. Check out our What’s On section at the top of the page for a full list of museum events.

On this day: 3rd April (1832), the full extent of the Dundee and Newtyle Railway line opens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Kinloch, Dundee’s first elected MP, was a great supporter of the idea of a Dundee and Newtyle railway. In 1826, Kinloch piloted a Bill through Parliament, leading to the creation of the Dundee and Newtyle Railway Company – wherein he swiftly took upon himself the position of Elected Chairman. Charles Landale, a civil engineer within Dundee, proposed two routes in which the new railway should go through. One route would go from Dundee to Forfar via Douglastown, before making its way to Mill of Newtyle, whilst the other route would take a direct route from Dundee to Mill of Newtyle. The latter route was chosen. The railway would provide Newtyle with potential for growth, as it was a promising industry. However, it was difficult to reach from Dundee. Prior to the construction of the railway, the only mode of transport to Newtyle was a stagecoach to and from Blairgowrie that only came 2-3 times a week during the summer months. Furthermore, with the industrial nature of Newtyle, the railway would offer the working-class citizens of Dundee a cheap method of travelling to Newtyle. A final major benefit of this railway line was its ability to transport various products (such as coal) cheaply between the two towns. In 1831 the railway was officially opened and was one of the earliest railway lines in operation.

For passengers, during the summer, the train would run four times daily – at 8am, 10:30am, 1pm and 4pm. In the winter the train would miss out the 1pm timeslot available during the summer. First-class passengers would pay 1s. 6d.; second-class passengers would pay 1s. 3d.; and third-class passengers would pay 1s. Due to the train company making a loss in its later years, an ‘extra first-class’ was added to the fare prices – at 1s. 8d. The carriages of the train were divided into compartments for the respective classes: first-class had the most room, with a single carriage, split into three compartments, each holding eight passengers. Third-class travellers would have to make-do with a great number of passengers crammed into open compartments. The trains would also carry all kinds of goods: from manure, to coal, to bricks, slates and stones. Charges would be made according to the number of tonnes the goods weighed, and the mileage required. Pricing would be divided into 4 miles, 4-7 miles, over 7 miles and any distance. Dundee and Newtyle Railway Company employed 26 different roles. The Manager at the top, who would be paid £70 a year; a humongous salary in comparison to the ten-way men at the bottom. The annual cost of the railway (including coal, maintenance, wages, etc.) would cost £3,400.

The Company was unprofitable for its shareholders, and there was an unsuccessful attempt at raising the prices of third-class passenger fares from 1s. to 1s. 3d. in 1836. This had caused a decline in the number of passengers from 40,378 to 29,387, further causing the Company’s profits to dwindle and forcing the Company to return their prices to their prior state after just nine months. Various accidents were happening to the railway workers due to bad design in some areas, or simply due to negligence from other staff. This gave the Company a bad reputation. Thomas Coupar a porter, was working on the railway track in Dundee on the 23rd April 1841. He was killed after another member of staff failed to alert Coupar that the train was about to move off. A year later, the Inspector-General of Railways inspected the Company’s railway line, leaving a scathing report on the many technical issues present. Both the financial and practical issues lead to the eventual demise of the Dundee and Newtyle Railway company. In 1865, the Company’s railway line was absorbed by the Caledonian Railway company, before the Caledonian Railway Company was taken over by London Midland and Scottish lines in 1923. In 1948, the railways of the UK were nationalised. The final death of this railway line itself was to occur in 1967, when the very last section of the line – the route from Ninewells Junction to Maryfield – was closed.

Information and photographs from:
Dundee Museums and Art Galleries Extension Services, 1981. Albert Square, Dundee, DD1 1DA, now: The McManus, Leisure and Culture Dundee.

“Preparing for the Future” Heritage Lottery Funded Project comes to an end at Dundee Museum of Transport

A year long Heritage Lottery Funded Project that strengthened governance and embedded resilience at Dundee Museum of Transport has officially ended.

In late 2017, Dundee Museum of Transport received £14,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for their project Preparing for the future: building skills and capacity at the Dundee Museum of Transport. The funding enabled the museum to work with Henderson Loggie, Wendy West Consultancy and CFJ Associates to achieve strategic change and continue to develop the museum. The consultants reviewed and embed new methods of financial management and helped to improve governance at all levels, from volunteer management to the Board of Trustees. Over the course of the project, members of the museum team attended workshops on charity law and finance, fundraising and museum management and made site visits to Grampian Transport Museum and the Scottish Railway Preservation Society in Bo’ness to gain inspiration and consider new ways of working.

Samantha Walker, Museum Manager, said: “Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund our staff, volunteers and trustees have developed new skills and benefitted from working closely with experts in the museums and charities sector to make us a more resilient organisation. Despite 2018 being a challenging year in terms of funding and organisational changes, the support we received really helped us to overcome these challenges and we are undoubtedly stronger than we were a year ago.”

The National Lottery

National Lottery players raise, on average, over £30 million each week for projects all over the country. In total £37 billion has been raised for Good Causes since The National Lottery began in 1994 and more than 510,000 individual grants have been made across the UK, the majority (70 per cent) of which are for £10,000 or less, helping small projects make a big difference in their community!

The Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery. For more information, please contact Katie Owen, HLF Press Office on tel: 020 7591 6036 @heritagelottery #NationalLottery

Ford – Sierra RS Cosworth – 1986-1987 (United Kingdom)

The Sierra project was instigated in 1983 by the head of Ford Motorsport to create a competitive competition car. Ford then engaged Cosworth, who had developed the likes of DFV engines for Ford in the sixties and seventies (Cosworth-Ford were very successful in Formula 1 at this period). The Sierra 3-door was selected as the base vehicle, and they improved the Sierra’s performance by fitting a turbocharger and twin overhead camshafts, along with other modifications to achieve a much greater performing Sierra RS Cosworth. The car also featured lowered suspension and aerodynamic aids such as the strategically placed rear spoiler, with comments on the car saying it had an adequate aerodynamic drag.

The RS Cosworth helped to improve the poor, and somewhat undeserved, reputation that the Sierra had earned since its introduction in 1982. It was identifiable in difference to the standard Ford Sierra family saloon thanks to its RS body kit, large rear-spoiler and modified front grille and bumper. Initially 500 cars had to be manufactured for homologation purposes, relating to Group A racing. Production spanned 1986 to 1992 with further models such as the Sierra Sapphire 4-door RS Cosworth and the more powerful Sierra RS Cosworth 500. The car was only offered in three exterior colours (black, white and ‘moonstone’ blue) and one interior colour (grey). The Sierra Cosworth was highly successful car both in rallying and racing, providing a ‘Halo’ effect for the rest of the Ford range.

The Sierra RS Cosworth on display at Dundee Museum of Transport is a 1st generation 3-door model with a 5-speed manual gearbox. Its layout is a front longitudinal engine, which drives the rear wheels. A Cosworth 4-cylinder YBD 1993cc, Garrett Turbocharger, twin camshaft engine develops 204 bhp. It performs 0-60 in 6.5 seconds and has a top speed of 149 mph.

Museum Annual Pass Launched

We are excited to announce the launch of our new annual passes! The annual passes offer great value for families, couples and adults as they can be used all year round and are valid during our special day-time events including the Steam Weekends, Bus & Coach Day and Emergency Vehicle Day.

Passes can be purchased at the museum or in our online shop here: https://www.dmoft.co.uk/product-category/annual-pass/

 

Dundee Museum of Transport Re-opening Reception

The team at Dundee Museum of Transport would like to thank members, volunteers and invited guests for coming along on a very chilly day yesterday, Friday 1st February, to get a sneak preview of the new displays for 2019 and to hear about the museum and it’s future plans.

Following a welcome address by the Museum Chair John Letford MBE, Museum Manager Samantha Walker provided an overview of the museum and its activities in recent years. With visitor numbers increasing by over 20% year-on-year, greater volunteer involvement and new and continuing partnerships with local organisations, the museum is going from strength-to-strength.

The Museum’s Vice-Chair, Peter Webber, then provided an update on the Maryfield Tram Depot project.

Thanks to all who attended

Following consultations with the local community, members and volunteers and other key supporters, a new, phased development was announced that would see the former tram depot brought back to life as a museum.

To provide a full picture of the proposal, www.maryfieldtramdepot.org was officially launched. The museum team felt it was important for this project to have a dedicated website that could be updated as the project develops and also provide a forum for our supporters to share their views and ideas.

We would once again like to thank all those who attended the reception and are looking forward to meeting the thousands of visitors that we will welcome in 2019. We would also like to thank our amazing volunteers for the weeks of hard work in preparing the museum for the season ahead and for the hospitality that they provided during our re-opening reception.

The Museum is now open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:30am – 3:30pm (last admission 3pm) this February and then open daily (except Tuesdays) from 1st March.

Ford Fiesta – Mk. III – 1996 (1.1 Litre). Charity Car

 

To toast Burns Night, the Dundee Museum of Transport celebrates its’ Tartan exhibit.                               The ‘Highlanders’ Jo Williamson, Gordon Blair, Rick Wright, and Brian Meldrum set out from John O’Groats to Siberia (via the Gobi Desert in Mongolia); and back through Russia. The 14,000 mile (22,500 kilometres) journey in two Ford Fiestas was accomplished to raise money for Findacure: a charity working to promote research into rare and fundamental diseases.

Jo Williamson sadly lost his wife to a rare form cancer caused by a faulty hereditary gene. The money raised is going towards research into potential treatments to find a cure for Phaeochromocytoma. Jo’s twins have the SDH-B gene and medical issues, while there is also a risk that their children could inherit the disease.

£30,000 had been pledged to Gordon and Jo before the journey took place. The no back-up vehicle or support crew drive took nearly eight weeks, travelling through 24 countries with the Highlanders raising the profile of the terrible disease Phaeochromocytoma. They also received donations for Findacure as they travelled.

Gordon Blair had the task of selecting two suitable cars, and having considered several makes, identical Fiestas were selected for their tough reputation and simple mechanics. Semi-independent torsion beam rear suspension helped the ride and refinement. The Mk. III was the first model to get Ford’s mechanical anti-lock braking system and featured a lean-burn engine. The two cars did not feature any electronics – so there was less to go wrong. Both cars performed without problems and returned safely to Perth.

The DMofT received one of the cars as a donation: to preserve the vehicle as an achievement, and keep the cause publicised. It is presented as it returned; although the mud on the outside has been removed, you can still see the dust of the Gobi Desert and Mongol Rally route on the dashboard inside the car!

Driving the route in Central Asia.
The Fiesta’s induction into the Dundee Museum of Transport.

 

Dundee Museum of Transport & Alzheimer’s Scotland Project

Dundee Museum of Transport and Alzheimer’s Scotland joined forces for 6 months in 2018 for a pilot project aimed at supporting individuals living with dementia and their carers.

The project started with monthly groups of day service clients (a maximum of 12 individuals, including carers) being invited for a tour of the museum and an afternoon tea type of refreshment. The first two visits involved the partaking of refreshments upon a dining coach which proved highly popular.  This touch created much reminisce and instigated a lot of different discussion about social history relating to the era of the coach along with bus transportation.

Group visit from Alzheimer’s Scotland in 2018

The tour itself proved extremely popular and instigated memories – both social, historical and transport related as the museum, whilst targeting transportation, includes a great deal of social history – Tay Road Bridge – Fifies – Champion the Wonder Horse etc.  The atmosphere, smells and sounds evoked memories and there was much animated chat whilst the tours took place.

Jeni Sinclair (Dementia Advisor / Volunteer Coordinator at Alzheimer’s Scotland said:

“The organisation was swift and seamless and the volunteers took smaller groups round which was invaluable as individuals were gaining a more personalised service. The volunteers themselves are a credit to the museum; each and every one of them were empathetic towards all members of the group and supported members who were less able by providing wheelchair support throughout the tour. The volunteers are extremely knowledgeable in their roles and the enthusiasm and knowledge that they displayed made the tour come alive.”

Both Dundee Museum of Transport and Alzheimer’s Scotland hope to continue these group visits in 2019.

On completion of the activity Alzheimer Scotland staff requested feedback from participants who took part in the tours.

“Really enjoyed the visit”

“Overall really enjoyed the group, tour and refreshments”

“Would go again – not enough time to take it all in”

“Excellent afternoon, staff couldn’t be more helpful from start to finish”

“Very Well organised, wheelchairs available for those would can’t walk far; excellent afternoon & would recommend”

“Looking forward to new premises – will visit again”

 

Thanks to Jeni Sinclair of Alzheimer’s Scotland for providing the content for this article.

 

 

Standard Motor Company – Little Nine – 1933 (United Kingdom)

Founded in Coventry in 1903 by R.W. Maudslay, the Standard Motor Company was financed by Sir John Wolfe-Barry through a £3,000 gift.

Their first car was in production by the end of 1903 and featured a single cylinder engine. Production had increased thanks to expansion into larger 6-cylinder engine cars by 1906. To accommodate this, a new factory was moved in to; though the company had switched to aviation production during the First World War and manufactured over 1,000 aircraft.

The post-First World War era saw vehicle production resume, with 10,000 cars manufactured by 1924. Smaller and more streamlined vehicles were being produced by the late 1920s: such as the fabric bodied 9hp Fulham. Other manufacturers including Jensen, Avon, and Swallow were to purchase Standard Motor Company chassis.

The rear-wheel drive 1933 Standard Little Nine had two main bearings, coil ignition, 12-volt electrics, four speed silent third gearbox, and a cart spring frame. It had a 1,005cc/1,006cc 4-cylinder side valve engine producing 22bhp with a top speed of 54/55mph. Weighing 16cwt, the Standard Nine was the smallest and cheapest car available from the Standard Motor Company in the early 1930s (costing around £145 at the time). This was regarded during the period as expensive for a ‘family car’, though this model sold well with the ‘upper echelons of society’.

The saloon was available in several colours. It featured fine quality leather upholstery, with matching head cloth and pile carpet. Front seats were independently adjustable, and the four doors feature wind-up windows. All doors feature a locking device, and room for maps and other driving articles (including dashboard space for parcels). Other objects of the car include a rear vision mirror, protection glass, screen wiper, speedometer, clock, oil pressure gauge, electric horn, tool kit, licence holders and luggage grid (with spare wheel when new).

The Dundee Museum of Transport’s Standard Little Nine is the final production year MK II Ordinary model; though a ‘special coachbuilders saloon’ was manufactured too. Around 5,680 saloons were manufactured in total. A small amount of 2 door convertibles were produced to special order, though this made the convertibles very rare (with as little as 12 ever made).

 

 

References (all accessed on 10/01/2019):

Culshaw; Horrobin (1974). Complete Catalogue of British Cars. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-16689-2.

https://www.standardmotorclub.org/post-vintage-commission-numbers.html

https://www.classicandsportscar.com/guides/classic-cars-a-to-z/standard-little-nine