It was a last minute decision to set off for the Slimbridge Rally on the Wednesday which will appear in a separate report. The reason for setting off on the Wednesday was to visit Stondon Transport Museum and two English Heritage site which will be also covered in the Slimbridge report.
Stondon Transport Museum http://www.motor-museum.co.uk or http://www.transportmuseum.co.uk is located near RAF Henlow http://forceshenlow.2day.ws/forceshenlow/?localBoard=870&globalBoard=0 , there is a Hunter acting as the gate guard; I didn’t stop to take a picture but here is a link that shows the Hawker Hunter F1 http://www.abpic.co.uk/photo/1252606 . The actual location of the museum is Station Road, Lower Stondon, Henlow and you can’t miss it as the full size replica of the H.M.S. Endeavour sort of gives it away.
Apparently the museum was founded in 1994 by F.J. Saunders, who actually starting collecting vehicles over 40 years ago. The site used to be a garden centre run by the Saunders family. The museum was born when F.J. Saunders decided to display the 60 plus vehicles he had acquired and restored. He then started acquiring vehicles in earnest and now there are over 400 vehicles within the museum.
There is a large collection of motorcycles and also an excellent collection of three wheelers. As far as we could see there were only 5 or 6 sidecar outfits but having said that, the collection of motorcycles is large with some unusual and rare machines on display. As for cars, you will simply lose count of all the models.
The museum is showing signs of wear; some of the buildings look in a poor state of repair with water leaking in through the roof and you know it has been like that for some time by the green algae that has formed. Some of, well quite a few vehicles have flat tyres and some showing signs of deteriation. It appears that not much investment is being done and I wonder how long this collection will be under one roof, or should I say on one site.
They have acquired over 400 model aircraft; they were made by the Reverend Allon Taffs who had left them to his younger brother when he passed away in 2006, who then decided to donate them to the museum in 2011.
There is also a basic café on site for light refreshments and a small shop as well as reference library of old magazines and vehicle manuals. The museum would make a good place to visit on a run-out or day meet but you would have to get your breakfast fry up on the way there. Just one thing to mention, the museum is open 6 days a week and closed on Fridays.
Martyn and Lesley
Note; as predicted, this museum has now closed, being all auctioned off and it makes me wonder where they all disappeared to. I guess some went to other museums but several I believe went to private collections or to individual private owners.