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

 

Volunteer Christmas Reception 2018

Last week the museum held its annual Volunteer Christmas Reception at Market Mews. It was great to see so many people before the Christmas break and an opportunity for some of our volunteers to get to know each other.

Did you know, Dundee Museum of Transport benefited from over 10,000 volunteer hours this year?! Volunteers are at the heart of the museum, from visitor services and guiding to restoration and maintenance. They are all self-less and passionate about what they do and we would not be here without them.

We would like to thank all our lovely volunteers – all 54 of them! – for their efforts once again this year.

Look who’s 50!

Today we celebrate the 50th birthday of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

Released on the 17th December 1968, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has become one of the most well-known British musicals. We are so lucky to have ‘Gen 22’, a MGM licensed replica, on loan to us from a private collector.

To mark the occasion, museum volunteers have decorated Chitty for her birthday! Come see her before the end of December during museum opening hours of Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:30am to 3:30pm (closed Boxing Day). The museum will be closed throughout January, re-opening for 2019 on the 2nd of February.

Gen 22 on her birthday

 

Visit to the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum

On Sunday 9th December the Museum Manager, Sam, and Trustee, Ian, visited the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum at Lathalmond to learn about how they have developed their museum over the last 23 years. As well as finding out about how they operate and are funded, Sam and Ian got a tour of the 49 acre site (on a bus, no less!), taking in both visitor and behind the scenes areas. The site is a credit to the hard-work that has taken place by volunteers – we thoroughly recommend a visit! Details of their opening times and events can be found on their website: www.svbm.online/

We look forward to keeping in touch with our neighbours across the water and applying some of their methods for long-term sustainability and growth.

Edinburgh Tram on Display at SVBM
Indoor storage at SVBM
The tour bus!

Recent Acquisition: Ticket Machines belonging to Dundee’s ‘Mr Transport’ 

Bus Ticket Machine

 A recent donation to the Dundee Museum of Transport reveals the life of the ‘Mr Transport’ of Dundee, near 52 year to the day that he retired from the industry.

 Born in 1902, Charles Broadley’s early life revolved around transport.  Before he had even left school, Charles worked part-time as a ‘parcel lad’, on Friday nights and Saturdays.  After his school day, he would eagerly wait for the Blackie tram to turn onto Blackness Street, always offering to help reverse the trolleys.  After Charles left school, he joined Dundee Corporation Transport, working as a full-time parcel lad.  At the age of sixteen, he spent a brief three years in the Royal Air Force before returning to Dundee Corporation Transport. 

 Charles’ passion for transport never fizzled out during his many years at Dundee Corporation Transport.  He worked diligently, gradually working his way through the ranks.  Starting as a parcel lad, he then became a lorry driver; then a conductor; a tram driver; a bus driver; then received a semi-final promotion to an Inspector in 1928.

Throughout the years, he displayed amazing dedication.  He remained with the transport industry, despite the move by many to factory work, with its more forgiving hours.  He would often leave one of his favourite activities – attending football matches at Dens Park – to help buses cope with the massive crowds there.  He would leave his home in Barnes Avenue in the wee hours of the night to respond to emergencies, such as sanding icy roads, or showing face at any crashes that may have occurred.  In 1947, Charles received his final promotion to Traffic Superintendent.  His dedication and loyalty to Dundee Corporation Transport  during his forty-five years there earned him the title ‘Mr Transport’, lovingly given to him by Dundonians. 

In 1966, after forty-five years service, Charles retired.  However, his love for transport remained.  He would continue to go on holiday to the likes of Switzerland and Austria – via the bus, of course.  In 1978 Charles sadly passed away.  However, his legacy lives on in Dundee and further afield through his prediction that, one day, in the future, there will be a “one-man bus”. 

Charles Broadley’s ticket machine will go on display at Dundee Museum of Transport from February 2019 when the museum re-opens after the winter break.  The museum would like to thank Iain Waddell for donating these items in memory of his late Grandfather.

Our response to The Courier article dated 19th November 2018

Dundee Museum of Transport Trust would like to respond to several errors in yesterday’s article published in The Courier.

The Museum was formed 8 years ago, not 18, as stated in the article.

The Trustees are currently working with existing funders and contractors to make the former Maryfield Tram Depot safe. No scaffolding or security measures were put in place over the last four years and this is something the board are urgently trying to remedy.

Planning permission has been sought for Market Mews as we had extended our exhibition space and our permission was due to expire in April 2019. There are no plans to do any work at Market Mews. We have recently engaged with Dundee City Council Environmental Health to improve our facilities and procedures and after a recent site visit they have sign-posted us for further support and also advised that they do not plan on returning.

There is no £300,000 raised for the re-development of Maryfield Tram Depot. Our annual accounts are available on the OSCR website and will show this. Some funders had made pledges however these were made on the condition that match funding was secured. This year we were advised by two of the major funders that we had approached that they were not willing to fund the project in its current form. So, rather than continually approach them with the same project, we are reviewing our position and are seeking the views of members, volunteers and the local community in developing new plans. Maryfield will be part of these plans as it is still a property owned by Dundee Museum of Transport.

As a SCIO (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation) our board of Trustees have an equal vote on items presented at meetings; this is basic good governance so that one person cannot dictate.

In November 2017 Dundee Museum of Transport was awarded £14,750 from the Heritage Lottery’s Resilient Heritage Fund to strengthen our governance as our governance had been highlighted as an area of development from funders. Over the last 12 months we have received external support to review our management structure and have worked collaboratively to make changes that will put us in a stronger position. We have increased volunteer involvement and now have a full board of trustees with backgrounds in transport, business, banking, education and design, to name a few, that are equally responsible for the various aspects of running the museum.

Although we are disappointed with the funding decisions, the board of Trustees are stronger than ever before and have the skills, experience and enthusiasm to take the museum forward with the support from the people of Dundee.

Thank You

Samantha Walker (Museum Manager)

Volunteer Thank You

Trustees Don Ridgway and Peter Webber were delighted to present museum volunteer Ian Innes with a thank you card and gift voucher this week. Ian showed exceptional customer service during the museum’s recent VisitScotland assessment, achieving five stars in the service and hospitality grading. The museum achieved an overall grading of three stars and will continue to develop its offer to visitors in the hope of achieving four stars in the future.

Left to right: Don Ridgway, Ian Innes and Peter Webber

Congratulations Ian!