|National Motor Museum, Beaulieu|
|Location||Beaulieu, Hampshire, England|
|Website||The National Motor Museum Trust website|
The National Motor Museum (originally the Montagu Motor Museum) is a museum in the village of Beaulieu, set in the heart of the New Forest, in the English county of Hampshire. It was founded in 1952 by Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu as a tribute to his father, who was one of the great pioneers of motoring in the United Kingdom, being the first person to drive a motor car into the yard of the Houses of Parliament, and having introduced King Edward VII (then the Prince of Wales) to motoring during the 1890s.
At first the museum consisted of just five cars and a small collection of automobilia displayed in the front hall of Lord Montagu's ancestral home, Palace House, but such was the popularity of this small display that the collection soon outgrew its home and was transferred to wooden sheds in the grounds of the house. The reputation and popularity of the Beaulieu collection continued to grow: during 1959 the museum's "attendance figures" reached 296,909.
By 1964 annual attendance exceeded half a million and a decision was taken to create a purpose built museum building in the grounds of the Beaulieu estate. A design committee chaired by the distinguished polymath-artist Sir Hugh Casson was created to drive the project, and the architect Leonard Manasseh was given the contract for the design of the building.
By 1972, the collection exceeded 300 exhibits. In a ceremony performed by the Duke of Kent the new purpose-built museum building in the parkland surrounding Palace House was opened on 4 July 1972: the name was changed to the National Motor Museum, reflecting a change of status from a private collection to a charitable trust and highlighting Montagu's stated aim to provide Britain with a National Motor Museum "worthy of the great achievements of its motor industry". The opening of the museum coincided with the UK launch of the Jaguar XJ12 which made it an appropriate week for celebrating the UK motor industry. The museum is run by the National Motor Museum Trust Ltd, a registered charity.
Today, in addition to around 250 of the most historically important motor vehicles to have been produced since the late-19th century, including four world land speed record holders, the museum is also home to one of the finest collections of motoring books, journals, photographs, films, and automobilia in the world and is affiliated to the British Motorcycle Charitable Trust.
Among its exhibits are Land Speed Record holders: Malcolm Campbell's 1925 350HP Sunbeam, Henry Segrave's 1927 Sunbeam 1000 hp and 1929 Golden Arrow, Donald Campbell's Bluebird CN7. The yellow Reliant Regal van from the BBC 1 TV comedy Only Fools And Horses and a display of James Bond vehicles are also among the exhibits.
The museum's latest exhibition is World of Top Gear, displaying the actual cars created by Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May for some of their most ambitious challenges on the TV show over the years.
Additional attractions include a monorail, veteran bus ride, rally-car simulator ride, go-karting rink, playground, restaurant and a substantial part of the Palace House and grounds, including the partially ruined Beaulieu Abbey, providing a full day out. Among the monastery buildings to have been preserved are the domus (now used for functions and exhibitions), and the refectory, which is now the parish church.
The museum is open every day except for Christmas Day, though inevitably it attracts its highest number of visitors during the summer months.
In the summer, the 'New Forest Tour', an open-top bus tour of the New Forest Park also serves the museum as part of its route around this area of 'Outstanding Natural Beauty'.
The National Motor Museum is one of several attractions on Lord Montagu's Beaulieu estate which are marketed jointly as "Beaulieu". One admission ticket includes the following attractions:
- National Motor Museum
- James Bond Experience - an exhibition of vehicles from the films
- World of Top Gear
- Beaulieu Abbey
- Beaulieu Palace House
- Beaulieu Palace Gardens
- Secret Army Exhibition - an exhibit about the Special Operations Executive training at Beaulieu during World War II
- A monorail round part of the site
- Special events are also held during the year such as;
- Beaulieu Steam Revival - A Steam Rally started in 2010 to revive the old steam ralies that were held in the 1960s and 70s at Beaulieu, when Lord Nelson - Burrell no. 3443 a Showman's road locomotive was part of the collection of Lord Montague, owner of the Beaulieu estate, and founder of the now National Motor Museum.
The collection has a number of unique cars in it with others on permanent loan or just on short term visits for feature events from other museums or private collectors.
- More details to follow;
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
- Several land sped record attempt cars
- A number of Veteran cars
- A flying car
- various race cars
- The Grenville Steam Car
- a collection of promotional vehicles in the shape of products
- A 1895 Knight Car
- A 1886 Benz (replica)
- 1889 Renault 1 3/4 hp
- 1898 Benz Velo
- 1898 Daimler Cannstatt - Horseless cariage
- 1899 Daimler New to Lord Montague's farther
- 1899 Fiat 3 1/2 hp
- 1901 Electric Vehicle Co. "Columbia" owned by Queen Alexandria & used on the Sandringham Estate
- 1903 Cadillac Model A
- 1903 Daimler 22 hp
- 1903 De Dietrech 22 hp
- 1903 Mercedes 60 hp -
- 1904 Pope-Tribune
- 1904 Royal Enfield Quadracycle
- De Dion Bouton Model Q
- 1908 Unic Taxi cab
- 1909 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost
- 1910 Bugatti Type 15
- 1912 Hispano Suiza Alphonsa VII
- 1913 Argyll 15/30 hp
- 1913 Fiat Tipo Zero
- 1914 Ford Model T
- 1914 Sunbeam
- 1922 Leyat Car-plane (Flying car)
- 1923 Austin Seven Tourer
- 1924 Leyland Trojan PB
- Jaguar 'Silk Cut' GT Race car
- many more to add
References / sources Edit
Article based on wikipedia version
- ↑ "News Summary", Practical Motorist 6(68): age 782. date April 1960.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "Expansion at Beaulieu", Motor (3492): page 64. 24 May 1969.
- ↑ News: National Motor Museum journal = Autocar. 136. 27 April 1972. pp. page 9.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "National Motor Museum Opened at Beaulieu: Realisation of a dream", Autocar 137(3978): pages 36–37. 13 July 1972.
- ↑ National Motor Museum Trust Ltd, Registered Charity no. 1107656 at the Charity Commission
- ↑ "British Motorcycle Charitable Trust". Retrieved on 29 November 2009.
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