Watch: Ipswich Transport Museum prepares to welcome back visitors
PUBLISHED: 12:59 13 September 2020 | UPDATED: 08:55 14 September 2020
Six months after its first open day of the season, volunteers at Ipswich Transport Museum in the final stages of preparing for its second day of opening next weekend.
They are busy installing new signs showing visitors a route around the museum that should ensure social distancing rules are observed. And new perspex screens are being installed at the entrance and shop to ensure visitors and volunteers can keep their distance.
Museum vice chairman Chris Turland is responsible for ensuring the whole building is covid-secure and is co-ordinating the efforts to install the signs and screens.
The volunteers have been supported by two local firms – Clearscore and Iron Glaze who have supplied the signs and screens respectively.
Mr Turland said: “We have put up the signs to show a route around the museum. We have to have a one-way system because the aren’t wide enough to have people passing if we are to have social distancing.”
Another change is that visitors will not be able to get on board the buses, trolley buses, and trams that are on display – it would not be possible to observe social distancing and they would require too much cleaning.
Mr Turland said: “That is a disappointment. That is something that is important to us – we want our visitors to be able to get on to our vehicles, to find out what it’s like to sit on them, to smell them.
“Unfortunately that’s not possible at the moment – and it isn’t possible to give people rides in them which is always a popular part of our special events.”
The museum’s Sunbeam Tearoom is also closed at present – the volunteers will be watching how the reopening goes and could reopen it during the autumn.
Mr Turland did not know how the opening would go – or how long the season would last. Usually the museum has special events in the early autumn and winds down by early December.
He said: “We don’t know what will happen. Will people be glad to get out and have somewhere to visit? Or will they be too nervous because of the rise in covid numbers? We’ll probably keep things under review until Christmas and then plan for next year.”
And he warned that if it does prove popular, limits to visitor numbers could lead to queues to get in.
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