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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dundee’s Museum of Transport Starts Work on its Permanent Home
Photos: Alan Richardson
2018 is a big year for Dundee with the V&A opening in September. In the north east of the city, another important development is taking place. Dundee’s Museum of Transport will be starting work on restoring Maryfield Tram Depot, its permanent home.
The historic tram depot in Forfar Road is thought to be the oldest surviving building of its type in Scotland. For some years, the listed building had been falling into disrepair. So, in 2010, a group of transport enthusiasts, many with family links to the tram depot, made a decision to save the building. Their solution was to create a transport museum to be housed in the tram depot one day, a fitting use for the building. From this grew one of Dundee’s favourite tourist destinations, Dundee Museum of Transport, temporarily housed at Market Mews in the centre of the city.
Thanks to a grant from Dundee City Council’s Common Good Fund back in 2014
and now with support from Dundee Historic Environment Trust and other funders, the building blocks are in place for the charity to start the first phase of restoration work. This month work will begin on restoring the cobbled forecourt and on returning the surrounding walls and railings to their former glory. Volunteers will begin landscaping the grounds and tidying up the protected trees along Forfar Road.
James McDonell, Chairman of Dundee Museum of Transport Trust, said,
‘After years of hard work and dedication from all our volunteers and supporters, we are thrilled to be starting work on restoring Maryfield Tram Depot. There is still a way to go in securing funds but success is in sight. Our ambition to open the museum in its permanent home in 2020 is fast becoming a reality.’
For anyone interested in Dundee’s transport heritage or in plans for the Maryfield Tram Depot, a visit to the Transport Museum at Market Mews is recommended. For opening hours and transport links, please go to www.dmoft.co.uk
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.
Victoria Alexandrina Drummond was born in 1894 at Megginch Castle near Errol. Victoria showed her interest in mechanics from an early age but didn’t start her career until 1922, where she sailed as 10th engineer on board SS Anchises. Due to her gender, Victoria never managed to gain her British Chief Engineers, despite making 37 attempts. However, she was successful in gaining a Panamanian Chief Engineers Certificate.
During the mid-1940’s Victoria was part of the SS Bonita at Southampton. It was that time when Victoria was acknowledged and took charge of the engine room and kept herself the engines running after an attack by enemy bombers. When arriving at Virginia, she was given a hero’s welcome. Victoria was awarded an MBE for her devotion to duty and a Lloyds medal for bravery at sea.
She kept on sailing in various vessels and she sailed amongst many convoys during the rest of the war. After the war ended she sailed as Second Engineer until 1959 when she finally became Chief Engineer. She remained a Chief Engineer until she retired in 1962.
Victoria died in 1978 and was buried at her birth place. She will always be remembered as Britain’s first female Marine Engineer, first female Chief Engineer, and first female member of the Institute of Marine Engineers. She stood up to all adversity and opened the door for all the women that followed in her footsteps. Victoria is a key part of the Dundee Museum of Transport’s Caledon Shipyard display. She is also part of Dundee women’s trail and a plaque is devoted to her, located at Bell Street.