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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Lakeland Motor Museum - back in time

The main road leading to Ulverston in the south Lakes, in addition to many natural attractions and scenic beauty in this region, also has a must visit heritage venue for car and transport enthusiasts. The Lakeland Motor Museum contains a diverse display of period cars, vans, bikes of all types and even a Guildford Fire Engine which was exported to Johannesburg. The origins of the collection are in Blackpool where a local businessman pursued a personal acquisition of artifacts and vehicles from the 1960s onwards. This gradual accumulation of cars and more, eventually found a home at Backbarrow near Ulverston and emerged as a private museum

No surprise that the collection includes an early TVR from the time when Trevor was working not far from here in Hoo Hill Brick Works as well as the fastest TVR which was created much later before the company fell into the hands of a Russian owner and closed its doors at Bristol Avenue. American 1930s classic sedans mingle with classic Jaguars and a pot pourri of English marques in the same period and later. Vast array of road signs and period metal advertising adorn the walls together with all manner of toys and souvenirs with an automobile theme. There are even the period slot machines which tempted one to keep a model car on a bending road on a rotating drum - simple pleasures for a penny in those now far off days.

A casual look at many photographs revealed a wonderful personal 'snap' from 1950 taken at Station Road of a young man on a motorised bicycle whilst in the background is a Blackpool Corporation Titan in wartime livery on the 23 Service to Layton. Serendipity at work. Conversation with the informative Manager of the Museum revealed background to the photograph and the person on the bike who is still alive. Hopefully this image will feature in the forthcoming (2017) title 'Municipal Transport Heyday - Blackpool's Trams and Buses 1950 - 1959'. The Lakeland Motor Museum also includes one of the caravans built by Herbert Victor Burlingham after he sold his interest in that famous coachbuilding firm bearing his name, to set up in the Garstang area just off the A6 where he pursued his personal endavours designing and building caravans well before the sector took off. As an aside - the house he built in Norfolk thatched roof style at Garstang and a local landmark, has been demolished to make way for 'The Thatch' another of those rampant housing developments spreading around the periphery of communities. A great shame.

Very useful operating tips were provided by the Museum management on the

practicalities and economics of running a specialised museum themed to transport. Attracting some 80,000 visitors annually with an emphasis on older generations and families with young children (usually in adverse weather) lessons can be learned from the visit this week when it comes to our plans at Wyre Dock. If you are in the south Lakes or wish to encounter motoring history up close and in an informal atmosphere - the Lakeland Motor Museum www.lakeland is an ideal destination within 90 minutes drive of the Fylde coast on a good day. Sorry; no buses or trams involved.

A classic British fire engine of similar design to the Johannesburg example at the Lakeland Motor Museum. However this is of course a Leyland Motors product from the 1930s complete with splendid lining out and polished chrome fittings - including the bell of course. Am sure the ladder's wood finish was also heavily varnished - everything spick and span in those days - and of course a municipal fire brigade. Image copyright British Commercial Vehicle Museum, Leyland.

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