First stop reached for transport museum

IPSWICH Transport Museum is moving onwards and upwards.The museum paid host to a string of dignitaries as it celebrated the first stage of its redevelopment programme – to make the museum weatherproof.

IPSWICH Transport Museum is moving onwards and upwards.

The museum paid host to a string of dignitaries as it celebrated the first stage of its redevelopment programme – to make the museum weatherproof.

It is now brighter, better and more secure with a new roof, sides and security system thanks to a £131,000 Heritage Lottery Fund windfall.

Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover, Ipswich Mayor Richard Risebrow, Richard Lewis, the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, Robert Rous, the high sheriff of Suffolk and Peter Howe, the vice chairman of Suffolk County Council were among those who visited the museum to celebrate its £175,000 improvement.

Museum chairman Brian Dyes said: "Before the improvements the building was a 1936 built trolley bus depot with an asbestos roof and it was glazed to the front, back and side – which wasn't very good for a museum and windows got broken.

"It is now weather proof, bird proof and vandal proof."

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Ipswich Transport Museum is run as an educational charity by volunteers.

Based at the Old Trolleybus Depot in Cobham Road, it houses the largest collection of transport items in Britain devoted to just one town.

The roof and sides of the building were replaced with insulated cladding to provide a better environment to store its historic collection of exhibits. It also has a continuously monitored fire and security alarm.

"The museum used to leak, let in birds and the vandals used to break the windows," explained Mr Dyes.

"The improvements have made it brighter, cleaner and drier and now mean we could put on display things we couldn't before such as ticket machines."

Mr Risebrow unveiled a commemorative plaque at the ceremony attended by 100 people.

Among them were also representatives of the Heritage Lottery Fund, representatives of local transport and engineering companies and volunteers who were on hand to discuss their work with the collections.

"The day went very well," said Mr Dyes. "We were pleased with the number of people who came, which was a good cross section of the community."

The remainder of the money was funded by the museum's own reserves built up over the years.

Ipswich Transport Museum houses 85 major exhibits and numerous smaller items. All the exhibits were built or operated in and around Ipswich.

Now volunteers have set the wheels in motion for the second stage of the project which is to extend the museum at a cost of £400,000.

Opening hours are every Sunday and Bank Holidays until the end of November and Monday and Friday afternoons in the school holidays.

Ticket prices are £3 adults and £1.75 for children.

Weblink

www.ipswichtransportmuseum.co.uk

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