Glasgow Museum of Transport quietly turns 50
I’m not sure how much fuss was made of the fact that the Glasgow Museum of Transport had made it to 50, having first opened in the former tram depot located in Albert Drive, in 1964. That particular building became available for re-use after 1962, when the last tram ran in Glasgow, and it seems that a handful of enthusiasts was able to take over the building and use it to preserve some of the trams, hence the creation of The Tramway a couple of years later, and the start of a successful museum.
I believe I only visited Albert Drive once before it closed (and the growing collection moved the back of the Kelvin Hall). I didn’t even know it was there until news of the forthcoming move was publicised, and (as I recall) became an issue.)
I didn’t even know that the Apollo 10 command module was once displayed there, together with a piece of moon rock – back in 1971.
I would have been there twice, but on my second trip was waiting to turn right into Albert Drive from Pollokshaws Road – when I was involved in my first RTC (road traffic collision. I was the only car on the junction when I arrived, which is filtered, but the lane to my left was blocked by parked cars, so vehicles wishing to drive ahead had to wait behind me, and I was waiting for a break in the oncoming traffic. All was going well until I heard a bang from behind. Sure enough, there was a car with its front offside corner having an argument with my rear nearside corner. Fortunately, it hadn’t been travelling at more than a few mph, apparently cracking the rear lens cluster and making a barely noticeable crease in the bumper and body. An elderly gent was extracting himself from the offending car, and to his credit was apologising, and saying he thought he could have made it through the gap between my car and cars parked to the left – I might add that the gap he was referring to was about a foot wide!
With nobody hurt, and minimal damage, I just wanted to exchange detail and be on my way, but he insisted on trying to give me £5 to buy a new rear light lens. I explained this was not possible as the car was not mine as such, but was a company car I was responsible for, so we had to just do the insurance thing. He couldn’t quite grasp this, but eventually we did exchange details. Turns out this was a good thing for me, since the obligatory post incident check revealed that his impact had destroyed the whole exhaust system, and concertinaed all the pipes into the silencer bodies. I’d have looked a bit silly handing the boss £5 to cover that, and no insurance details.
I never managed to get back to Albert Drive before the move to Kelvin Hall, but I’m glad to say that the location of the former transport museum just across the road from Kelvingrove meant that I couldn’t even start to count the number of visits, since I visits there generally meant a visit to the transport museum as well, making a great day out.
Interestingly, I just learned that the wall of cars, which I have often seen being criticised (negatively, by people who claim the cars can’t be seen) is subject to visitor selection as regards which cars are brought down and shown at floor level. It seems that there is a touchscreen located next to it where visitors can vote for their favourites, and so far, the winner is a Porsche 911 Turbo, which was also (whenever I was there) located just at the front door of the Kelvin Hall entrance.
Coincidentally, it seems to be almost centre of the Riverside image I found below:
Much as I’d like to show something of the original museum or displays in The Tramway, it went away before I could get any – hence the Imp pic from the Kelvin Hall.
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