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Cavalcade To Mark Museum's Birthday

Cars representing Coventry’s motor heritage will come out on to the streets of the city on Thursday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Museum of British Road Transport.

Now ranked as having one of the most important collections of cars, motorbikes and bicycles in the country, the museum was originally a part of the Herbert Art Gallery.

An agreement between Coventry City Council, West Midlands County Council and the Coventry Chamber of Commerce and Industry enabled the museum to open in its own building in Hales Street on 5 October 1980.

Recently the museum has grown in popularity, and visitor numbers have soared since an experiment to allow free admission was introduced in 1998.

The cavalcade of cars will parade around the city centre and will be on display from 12pm to 2pm in the Upper Precinct.

Cllr Joan Wright, cabinet member for Cultural and Leisure Services, said:

“The museum has gone from strength to strength over the years and we are tremendously proud of its achievements, particularly its recent recognition as one of this country’s most important national collections.

“I would particularly pick out the acquisition and superb display of Thrust 2; the introduction of free admission providing access for all; the introduction of the Education Partnership centre into Museum and obtaining Queen Mary’s Daimler.”

She added that the restoration of the royal 1935 car and the display of Thrust SSC shortly after it broke the world land-speed record, were also highlights.

Museum director Joe Elliott added:

“The museum has evolved over the years into one of Coventry’s greatest assets and I believe its true importance lies in the fact that it so overtly highlights the outstanding engineering skills of Coventry people.

“From a personal point of view I particularly cherish the vital role the museum played on that fabulous weekend in 1987 with the Sky Blues bus, when Coventry City won the FA Cup.

“The museum was right at the heart of one of the great days in out city’s history.”

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CWN / Tourism & Leisure / Museums / Museum Of British Road Transport / 3 Oct 00

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