Sidecarland

The Llangollen Motor Museum

DEVOID OF TROUBLE

by Roy and Chris

 

Chris and I recently enjoyed a week’s break in Wales, staying near the town of Criccieth. I had heard about this particular motor museum and phoned the owner to see when it was open. He explained that they tend to open over the weekend period, to attract the visitors coming to the area.

We therefore planned a visit to the museum for the Sunday morning. It is situated between the River Dee and the Llangollen Canal; in actual fact you can walk along the canal tow path from the town for one mile and arrive at the museum. However, we wimped out and went by road to get there!

The museum is in a lovely rustic setting. I paid the entrance fee and wandered through an area of memorabilia into the main museum, where there is a large hall that houses a collection of motorcycles, cars, toys and models. There are approximately 40 motorcycles on display and about half that number of cars. I must be getting older because some of the vehicles on display I have either owned or ridden at sometime!

Among the bikes there is a 1942 WLA Harley used by the American forces at that time; another is a Norton 500 cc Domiracer, which the museum owner has ridden and confirms that it is a quick bike.

The car section has a couple of Morgan three-wheelers; one is being rebuilt. One thing that you do not usually get in most museums, is the smell of oil; however, this museum smells like an old-time garage. Talking to Kyle, the chap in charge of the museum this Sunday, he told me that they do work on the vehicles here. You rarely see a Gilbern car on the road, but the museum has a very nice one here. Gilbern was the only production car to be made in Wales, and more than 1,000 were made in just over a 10-year period.

There were some amusing comments on some of the bikes and cars; on a 1967 Honda 50 cc moped the comment was ”Max speed 25 mph and 250 mpg. If you run out of fuel, wring out your cigarette lighter and it will get you home!” Another comment was “All parts falling off this car are of the finest English workmanship! “

The museum is well worth a visit, and there are lots of interesting things to look at.

We had a busy day that Sunday. After the visit to the museum we had a ride on the Llangollen Railway. We got lucky that the engine pulling us today was steam, as they alternate steam with diesel. The train goes as far as Corwen which is 10 miles away, and we did the return trip. Apparently the line cannot be restored any further, as it has been built on further along.

To finish the day off we went to see the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. This is amazing piece of engineering built over two hundred years ago. You can either walk over it or take a canal boat.

This area of Wales is well worth a visit, with lovely roads to ride along and breath-taking scenery, and the museum is well worth a visit. The website is: www.llangollenmotormuseum.co.uk