Mar 172017
 

With thanks to Martin Ford.

In an initiative by Aberdeenshire’s Democratic Independent and Green councillors Councillor Martin Ford is asking Aberdeenshire Council to ‘give consideration to the feasibility of creating a significant visual arts, museum or other cultural facility as part of its redevelopment of the Harlaw Road site in Inverurie’.

Cllr Ford’s call comes in a notice of motion he has submitted for debate at the next meeting of Aberdeenshire’s Education and Children’s Services Committee on 23 March.

It has only been possible to submit notices of motion for debate at Aberdeenshire Council’s policy committees since 27 January this year when the Council’s new scheme of governance was introduced (previously notices of motion were restricted to Area Committees and full council).

Cllr Ford’s notice of motion says:

“Aberdeenshire Council shall give consideration to the feasibility of creating a significant visual arts, museum or other cultural facility as part of its redevelopment of the Harlaw Road site in Inverurie. The consideration process shall include seeking public views, establishing what external funding sources might be available and discussions with potential partners who may want to be involved (e.g. the local universities).”

Committee chair Cllr Alison Evison has confirmed Cllr Ford’s notice of motion will be included on the agenda for next week’s Education and Children’s Services Committee meeting.

Cllr Ford said:

“The motion doesn’t commit the Council to anything beyond an exploratory process. But it’s an exploratory process we should do, and we need to do it now before the site is master-planned.

“Essentially, the motion asks the Council to think about the possibilities, and have discussions with others. Why would it not do that?

“The motion is deliberately not prescriptive about the kind of facility. That needs to be discussed and a decision emerge from consultation and dialogue.

“Personally, I rather like the idea of an ‘Aberdeenshire Museum’, but that’s clearly just one possibility. I want to see what comes out of the discussion and consultation that I hope results from the motion I have tabled.

“The point is, who would have predicted the V&A going to Dundee? Someone had to suggest it, against all reasonable expectation, and it happened.

“There is certainly room on the Harlaw Road site.

“A major cultural facility would bring significant benefits for the Aberdeenshire economy and tourism. It would also contribute to the quality of life for residents and raise the profile of the area.

“Clearly, funding will be an issue – which is why the motion asks the Council to look at external funding possibilities and open discussions with potential partners as part of an initial exploratory process.”

Cllr Paul Johnston said:

“This is a good idea. At this stage, agreeing the motion does not commit the Council to expenditure, it only opens the door to exciting possibilities.

“The Council should be keen to hear the public’s views.”

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Sep 102015
 
Museum volunteer Symon Hollingdale with star guest Carl Fogarty

Museum volunteer Symon Hollingdale with the event’s star guest Carl Fogarty

With thanks to Martyn Smith.

The 33rd Grampian Motorcycle Convention took place at the Grampian Transport Museum, Alford, on Sunday 6th September. 5259 ‘delegates’ attended, the second biggest crowd in the event’s 33 year history.

Visitors to the event – one of the best of its kind in Britain – enjoyed a day of fantastic entertainment and action. This year the weather was on side too, in stark contrast to the atrocious weather conditions visitors endured in 2014.

Visitors with a driving licence were able to take part in the action, with a free 15 minute session on the ‘Try Trails’ which proved very popular.

Inside the arena there was entertainment, with the On the Edge stunt team, providing demonstrations which combined trails riding, motocross and precision riding. The pursuit and Supermoto races proved as popular as ever, demonstrating speedway style riding skills in front of a packed grandstand.

This year the organisers were delighted to welcome 4 times world Superbike champion and King of the Jungle Carl Fogarty as the Convention’s star guest. Carl proved to be a real hit with the public and was happy to pose for selfies and sign autographs.

The finale of the event came in the form of the Moped Mayhem and with 49 teams signed up, organisers found themselves turning away late entries.

The Grampian Motorcycle Convention is run by the Bon Accord Motorcycle Club and is a regular fixture in the museum’s busy outdoor programme. The 34th Convention is due to be held on Sunday 4th September 2016.

Apr 232015
 

Grampian Transport Museum vehicle to feature on Channel 4 this Sunday. With thanks to Martyn Smith.

PoliceVitesse3A former Grampian Police vehicle will be the star of the small screen this weekend when it is featured on Channel 4.
Now in its second series, For the Love of Cars is presented by Philip Glenister (Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes) and Ant Anstead of Evanta Motor Company as they set about restoring iconic cars to their former glory, before selling them on at auction.

The Rover SD1 Vitesse – the only such example operated by Grampian Police – was in operation from 1985 to 1988 and would patrol the then new Stonehaven bypass, checking for speeding vehicles. Along with six other vehicles which were also restored for the series, it was put under the hammer on 10th January at Coys auction at the NEC in Birmingham.

Commenting at the time, curator Mike Ward was delighted to be able to bring the vehicle back to Aberdeenshire:

“We’ve been aware of this particular vehicle for some time now – it’s no stranger to our museum and in fact has appeared here before. When we found out that it was up for sale it was always our intention to try and bring this rare example ‘back home’. The hammer went down at £9,750 which is a new world record for a Rover SD1 at auction.”

The Rover has been on display at the Alford museum since the start of the season and was the star of the recent ‘Emergency Vehicle Rides’ afternoon, driven by former police driver Ian Slorach.

Series 2 of For the Love of Cars continues at 8pm on Sunday 26th April on Channel 4.

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Jan 162015
 

GrampianTransportMuseumImage1With thanks to Martyn Smith.

The Grampian Transport Museum is delighted to announce that it has received a grant of £40,000 from Museums Galleries Scotland, the national development body for museums and galleries in Scotland.

The award, from the organisations Capital Fund, will provide a major boost towards the cost of the museums current development project.

Construction of a brand new visitor reception extension is due to commence at the end of the 2015 season, with completion anticipated in the spring of 2016. The project was one of twenty Recognition and Capital projects in museums the length and breadth of Scotland to benefit from funding in this latest round.

At present the museum has a 4 star visitor rating from Visit Scotland – improvements to the museums catering, toilet and retail offerings, which are included in the new facility -being all that stands in the way of a prestigious 5 star rating. The new area will also provide the museum the opportunity to showcase the range of work it undertakes with young engineers from across the region, including the Greenpower F24 teams.

Funding for the ambitious project has now surpassed the half way mark as curator, Mike Ward explains:

”This is a terrific start to 2015! We’ve made no secret of the fact that we want to improve the welcome that our visitors receive and provide a reception facility that is beyond their expectations! This extension will not only help us achieve a much sought after 5 star award from Visit Scotland but also to showcase, for the first time, the hitherto largely hidden educational work the museum undertakes.”

Museums Galleries Scotland Chair, Douglas Connell said:

“We are pleased to start 2015 with a substantial funding round to support ambitious museum projects which increase the accessibility of museum collections and range from Renfrewshire Council’s Paisley Shawl Collection Digitisation project to Biggar Museum Trust’s plans for enhancement of its exhibitions and interpretation.

“The Scottish Government has demonstrated its continued support for the sector through funding which has enabled us to invest almost £1.5m over the last 12 months, with demand for financial assistance to deliver high-quality museum projects now well exceeding the funds available. Momentum is clearly increasing as we develop plans for building sector sustainability in line with the National Strategy.”

Jan 162015
 
GTM Police Car (2)

Museum curator, Mike Ward with the former Grampian Police Rover SD1 Vitesse

With thanks to Martyn Smith.

The Grampian Transport Museum, Alford, can today announce the latest addition to the museums extensive vehicle collection.

A former Grampian Police Rover SD1 Vitesse, which is due to feature on the Channel 4 series ‘For the Love of Cars’, was purchased at auction on Saturday (10th January)

The vehicle – registration C356 YST – was commissioned by the force in 1985 and used to check for speeders on the then new Stonehaven bypass.

Thanks to its 190bhp 3.5litre V8 it proved to be more than capable of catching the many high performance vehicles which the relatively new oil industry had brought to the region – typically the Audi 100s and Quattros which were popular around Aberdeen at the time.

Presented by actor Philip Glenister (Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes), For the Love of Cars follows a crew of mechanics as they recover and restore classic vehicles which are in  need of some TLC. The former high-speed pursuit vehicle has been stripped down to allow for new metal to be welded in where required, before receiving a full respray.

Complete with original Grampian Police livery, the vehicle has a number of original features including stop signs, sirens and blue lights which are all in good working order.

Curator Mike Ward is delighted to be able to bring the vehicle back to Aberdeenshire.

“We’ve been aware of this particular vehicle for some time now – it’s no stranger to our museum and in fact has appeared here before. When we found out that it was up for sale it was always our intention to try and bring this rare example ‘back home’. The hammer went down at £9,750 which is a new world record for a Rover SD1 at auction.

“It’s sure to be a fantastic addition to our collection and we’ll also make sure it’s put to good use at our very popular Emergency Vehicle Rides session which takes place on 10th April.”

 

Sep 122014
 

The 32nd annual Grampian Motorcycle Convention took place at the Grampian Transport Museum on Sunday 7th September. With thanks to Martyn Smith.

MopedMayhem1

The ‘Moped Mayhem’ was introduced to the North East of Scotland in 1984

Despite atrocious weather conditions around 2,000 stalwarts descended on the outdoor arena to enjoy one of the very best motorcycle shows in Britain.
Performances from Scotland’s number one stunt rider Kevin Carmichael wowed the crowds throughout the afternoon.
Kevin’s competitive career began at the age of 7 when he took up schoolboy motocross and in 2002 Kevin was crowned World Champion in Texas.

The Convention introduced Moped Mayhem to the North East of Scotland in 1984 and this year’s Convention was no exception with a number of enthusiastic riders taking to the circuit and also to the custom built off road sections, which proved to be an interesting spectacle given the weather conditions.

Also taking place on the arena were the popular pursuits and Supermoto races, demonstrating speedway style riding skills in front of the packed grandstand.

Ever since the Convention began in 1983 there has been a vintage and classic bike parade – this year there were over thirty bikes of all ages on display and on the track. Museum Trustee, Peter Donaldson brought along his 1962 Ariel Leader which took to the circuit during the Classic Bike Parade.

Peter has been taking part in the Convention for the last 10 years and commented:

“Considering the awful weather I thought it was a fantastic day. The Grampian Motorcycle Convention really is the highlight of the year as far as the Biking calendar is concerned and I can’t wait for the 2015 Convention”

Also in attendance for the first time was Honda’s ‘My First License’ – providing youngsters with the opportunity to learn to ride in a safe and controlled environment.

The Grampian Motorcycle Convention is run by the Bon Accord Motorcycle Club and is a regular fixture in the Grampian Transport Museum’s busy outdoor calendar.

May 012014
 
Desert Rats

The ‘Desert Rats’ will provide a living history display.

The award-winning Grampian Transport Museum hosts its first Clubs Spectacular on Sunday 11th May. With thanks to Martyn Smith.

More than 24 clubs and groups will be showcasing their vehicles on the museums outdoor circuit, giving museum visitors and car enthusiasts alike the opportunity to find out more about the wide range of car clubs in the area and their activities.

The lunchtime gathering will showcase a selection of vehicles, including Alvis, Ferrari and Jaguar to every day cars, represented by clubs such as the Fiesta Owners and the Aberdeen Mini Owners.

The Mazda MX5 Owners Club, with over 20 examples present at the event, will be celebrating the clubs 20th birthday and also marking 25 years since the model made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show.

Vintage vehicles will also be in attendance, with a pair of locally owned Stanley Steamers dating from 1910 and 1918, representing the Steam Car Club of Great Britain.

Along with the vehicle displays, the ‘Desert Rats’ will be providing an informative and interesting living history display throughout the afternoon.

Museum Curator, Mike Ward, is looking forward to the launch of the new event:

“We hope the event will act as a point of focus for the vintage and classic vehicle enthusiasts in the North-East Scotland and as a season opener for classic car events in our area. It promises to be a significant gathering of the best of our areas preserved road vehicles.”

Museum visitors will be able to browse the many cars and clubs on display with admission to the event included in the standard museum admission price.

Apr 182014
 

GrampianTransportMuseumImage1With thanks to Martyn Smith, Marketing & Events Organiser, Grampian Transport Museum

On Easter Monday (21st April) the museum will host another exclusive ‘Rides Session’, with a selection of buses from the Aberdeen & District Transport Preservation Trust making an appearance and offering visitors a nostalgic ride around the circuit.

This event is a free addition to the museum’s standard admission price.

This year, two under 16’s are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult – with any additional children just £3. Adult entry is £9.50 with concession entry £7.50

Apr 102014
 

Easter Holiday Treats Continue at Grampian Transport Museum. With thanks to Martyn Smith.

mountain_rescue_land_roverThe Grampian Transport Museum will be welcoming members of the Emergency Services to the museum this Friday for a special ‘Emergency Vehicles Rides’ session.

Taking place on the dedicated road circuit, visitors will be able to enjoy a ride in one of a selection of vehicles, including the museum’s very own 1957 Dennis Fire Engine, Mountain Rescue Land Rover.

There will be representatives of Police Scotland and an Aberdeen Airport Fire Command and Control Appliance in attendance.

This unique event, which is timed to coincide with the school Easter Holidays, is an ‘added value’ extra which is available to all museum visitors. Rides will take place from 1pm – 4pm.

Further events taking place at the museum during the holidays include an ‘Easter Fun Afternoon’ on Thursday 17th April from 1pm – 5pm, with special activities plus Allan’s Magic & balloon maker, Easter crafts, face painting and quizzes.

On Easter Monday the museum will host another Rides Session, with a selection of buses from the Aberdeen & District Transport Preservation Trust making an appearance and offering visitors a nostalgic ride around the circuit.

Grampian Transport Museum
Alford, Aberdeenshire, AB33 8AE
019755 64517

Website: www.gtm.org.uk
Twitter- @transportmuseum
Facebook- Grampian Transport Museum

Apr 042014
 
Mike Ward GTM

Grampian Transport Museum’s Mike Ward with the ‘Visitor attraction of the Year’ award

With thanks to Martyn Smith, Marketing and Events Organiser, Grampian Transport Museum.

The Grampian Transport Museum is delighted to announce success at the inaugural Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, which took place on Friday (28th March)

Hosted by Original 106 presenter John McRuvie, the awards
celebrate and recognise excellence in the regions hospitality and tourism sectors.

The black tie event, at the Ardoe House Hotel, was organised by the Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels Association and the Alford museum was presented with the ‘Visitor attraction of the Year‘ award, sponsored by the Marcliffe Hotel.

Also on the final shortlist for the accolade were Drum Castle, Macduff Marine Aquarium and Deeside Activity Park.

Presented with the award just hours before the Museum opened to the public for the new season, curator Mike Ward said:

“Grampian Transport Museum has been developing steadily over the past three decades from volunteer community roots and winning this award is a great boost to the Trustees, staff and volunteers past and present, who have built it up into a top notch visitor facility.”

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