Ipswich Transport Museum
Preserving the transport heritage of Ipswich since 1965, and now supported by the Friends of the Ipswich Transport Museum. The Ipswich Transport Museum is a Registered Charity No. 276626 and an Accredited Museum, number RD890.
Homebullet point
Map/Admissionbullet point
Museum Eventsbullet point
Museum Historybullet point
Ipswich Transport Historybullet point
Ipswich Engineeringbullet point
Museum Exhibitsbullet point
Museum Purpose, Policies & Facilitiesbullet point
Collections Development Policybullet point
Educationbullet point
Museum Salesbullet point
Gallerybullet point
Friendsbullet point
Relevant Linksbullet point
Last Updated:
update date

Museum Press Releases

Posted: 9th April 2014

Historic Ipswich trolleybus runs again

An Ipswich trolleybus made an historic return to operational condition on Saturday 5th April - 51 years after the last one operated in the Suffolk town. Trolleybus 105, new in 1948, was one of 126 built for Ipswich Corporation between 1923 and 1950. They were all fuelled by locally generated electricity, which was supplied to the vehicles via twin overhead wires strung above the town's main roads. Conventional buses replaced the last Ipswich trolleys on 23rd August 1963, and soon after the distinctive web of poles and overhead wires were torn down and consigned to history.

Over the last decade, No.105, which was last used in April 1962, has been carefully dismantled and lovingly rebuilt to operational condition by dedicated volunteers at the Ipswich Transport Museum at a cost of around 25,000. The successful test run was the first of many that will take place before the vehicle is returned to public service on Saturday 10th May at the East Anglia Transport Museum in Carlton Colville - which is equipped with the overhead wires needed to provide the 600 volts DC current to the vehicle's electric motor.

Ipswich Transport Museum chairman Mark Smith, 43, was born eight years after the last trolleybus ran. He said: 'I've only ever seen cine footage of these vehicles moving - to watch and hear it for real is a dream come true'. Museum trustee Owen Philips, 21, has been co-ordinating the testing and commissioning work. He commented: 'No.105 was a derelict wreck when we started. The restoration is a shining testament to everyone who worked so hard on it during the last 11 years. It's shows just what can be achieved with passion, skill, hard work and dedication'.

Last winter static testing took place at the Ipswich Transport Museum's Priory Heath site before the vehicle moved to the East Anglia Transport Museum at the end of March. The trolleybus will be formally unveiled to the public on 10th and 11th May at Carlton Colville as part of a special 'Made and Used in Suffolk' event and remain there until the autumn, when it will return to Ipswich for static display.

Could they ever run again in Ipswich? 'Never say never' say's Owen with a wry smile. 'It may not be possible now - but who's to say where we'll be in 10 years time?'

Further information:
Ipswich Transport Museum:

01473 715666 (Museum)

Mark Smith, Trustee and Publicity Manager, 07900 607430

Two photographs, T105 under the wires at the East Anglian Tramway Museum and Owen Phillips and Bruce Lake consider a job well done

Tolleybus 105 under the wires at EATM      

Owen Phillips and Bruce Lake consider a job well done      

Full press release pdf

Click on here to see Museum Events

Posted: 1st December 2013

MUSEUM CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS WITH CRACKER OF AN EVENT

Ipswich Transport Museum rounds off its 2013 season with its annual 'Christmas Cracker' event on Saturday 7th December.

The event will feature seasonal special attractions including bus rides, fire engine rides, face painting and music from an ensemble of the Ipswich Hospital Band. In addition the Ipswich Community Playbus will be attending and there will be a large G scale model railway to enjoy. Children are given 5d (five old pence) to 'spend' on various attractions and receive a free goody bag. Enthusiasts will be able to see the latest museum restorations, including a 1948 Ipswich Trolleybus and 1950 Atkinson flat bed lorry.

Event organiser Trevor Ling said 'we have had a very successful year at the museum, and we hope this event will be an enjoyable curtain raiser to the festive season for everyone, and if the children are lucky, they might even meet Santa himself! We hope everyone will be able to come here and enjoy themselves - perhaps as a welcome respite from the Christmas shopping!'

The event runs from 11am to 4pm, admission is 6 for adults and 18 for families. All vehicle rides and additional attractions at the museum are included in the admission price.

Further information:
Ipswich Transport Museum:

01473 715666 (Museum)

Mark Smith, Trustee 07900 607430

or Trevor Ling (event organiser)Tel: 01473 715666 (Museum)

Chevrolet Bus ay Christmas      

Full press release pdf

Click on here to see Museum Events

Posted: 4th November 2013

ALL ABOARD FOR AN ATMOSPHERIC AFTERNOON ON THE BUSES

Volunteer drivers and conductors will be donning their overcoats and gloves for Ipswich Transport Museum's first 'Winter Warmer' event on Sunday 10th November.

Visitors will be able to sample the cosy glow of tungsten bulbs on some of the museum's historic buses and coaches as they take to the road between 1pm and 6pm, accompanied by a number of visiting vehicles.

Event Organiser Mark Smith explained 'This is our second Winter Warmer event. Last year we showed the vehicles look very old fashioned with their lights on and there's a different atmosphere when they're out in the twilight. We're hoping people will come along for a ride, enjoy some warming refreshments in the tea room, and see how bus crews of yesteryear had to work in pretty harsh conditions, with open saloons, no heaters and tungsten bulbs for light'.

About a dozen buses will take part, dating from 1949 to 1985. Visiting buses include a 58 year old former Ipswich Corporation AEC Regent bus now based in Southampton, a 1949 built Crossley double decker now based in Essex and a former Belfast Citybus Bristol RE single decker.

Admission costs 6.50 for adults and 18 for families with reductions for concessions. All museum bus rides on the old vehicles are free. Regular half hourly free buses will operate from Ipswich Rail Station starting at 1320 and the Cricketers Layby opposite Tower Ramparts from 1330. Visitors are encouraged to use the free bus and connecting public transport as there is limited parking at the museum.

Further information:
Ipswich Transport Museum:

01473 715666 (Museum)

Mark Smith, Trustee 07900 607430

Mark Smith with ADX 1      

Bus Timetable pdf

Full press release pdf

Click on here to see Museum Events

Posted: 17th October 2013

ILLUMINATING EVENING IN STORE FOR MUSEUM ENTHUSIASTS

Enthusiastic collectors of oil and paraffin lamps are lighting up for visitors at the annual 'Wheels by Lamplight' event at the Ipswich Transport Museum on Saturday 19th October.

The event, which takes place at the museum's Cobham Road site, features hundred of lovingly restored and polished lamps to illuminate the museum and allows visitors to see the museum's fascinating objects in a different way.

Event co-ordinator Brian Dyes said 'It's surprising how many people collect old lamps and enjoy displaying them. They have a unique cosy glow which you just can't create with an electric bulb. We use the old lamps to show off our old exhibits, many of which are contemporary with the lamps themselves'.

Exhibitors from all over East Anglia attend the event which is one of the largest gatherings of it's kind in the region.

The event runs from 7pm to 9pm and costs 6.50 for adults and 5.50 for concessions. The museum does not admit children to this event. Refreshments will be available in the museum's Sunbeam Tea Room.

Further information:
Ipswich Transport Museum:

01473 715666 (Museum)

Mark Smith, Trustee 07900 607430 or Brian Dyes, event organiser 01473 715666 (Museum)

Visitors enjoying the event      

Full press release pdf

Click on here to see Museum Events


Posted: 3rd October 2013

MINOR STARS IN MAJOR MORRIS CELEBRATION

Ipswich Transport Museum is celebrating 100 years of Morris Motors with a special event on Sunday 6th October. Around 25 cars and light commercials, including the famous Minor, Major and Morris 1000 cars will be on display at the museum. The visitors are all specially invited guests, and are lovingly restored, privately owned examples which are not normally seen on display at the museum.

Event organiser Eric Mouser, who tracked down and restored the 1930 Morris Minor he once owned as a teenager, said 'Morris Motors were once the byword for economical family motoring. There is a thriving enthusiast community, and we've assembled a selection of these bygone classics for our visitors to enjoy'.

The oldest commercial vehicle will be a 1924 Morris Commercial, and the most modern car is expected to be a 1980s Morris Ital - modified to resemble a Bugatti Type 35!

Visitors will be able to ride on a couple of the museum's old buses on short local excursions.

The event will run from 11am to 4pm. Admission to the museum costs 6.50 with reductions for concessions, children and families.

Further information:
Ipswich Transport Museum:

01473 715666 (Museum)

Mark Smith, Trustee 07900 607430 or Eric Mouser, event organiser 07768 731435

Visitors enjoying the event      

Full press release pdf

Click on here to see Museum Events

Posted: 20th August 2013

TROLLEY - GOOD ANNIVERSARY!

A newly restored Ipswich electric trolleybus is set to return to the streets of Ipswich over the August Bank Holiday weekend. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of their withdrawal from service in 1963, Ipswich Trolleybus 105, owned and restored by the Ipswich Transport Museum will be on display as part of the Maritime Festival on Orwell Quay (near the beer festival) from 2pm Friday 23rd and on Saturday 24th August.

Trolleybus 105, a Karrier - Park Royal example built in 1948 for Ipswich Corporation Transport, was completed and launched earlier this year to much public acclaim. It has since featured heavily in the local press, and has proved a popular attraction at the museum. The trolleybuses, with their distinctive twin overhead supply wires and trailing booms, were synonymous with the town for 40 years from 1923 and provided a vital service. They replaced the town's electric tram network in 1926, and many of the early trolleys' were actually built in the town by Ransomes Sims and Jefferies. In Suffolk fashion, people commonly knew them as 'trams', continuing to name them after the vehicles they replaced! The last one ran in public service from Electric House to the Priory Heath depot on the evening of August 23rd, 1963, when the electricity was switched off for the last time and the wires gradually taken down for scrap.

Ipswich Transport Museum Chairman, Mark Smith said "Many will still fondly remember travelling on trolleybuses throughout the town, with their open back platforms. The electricity collecting booms would often fly off the overhead wires if a junction or corner was taken too quickly, and the bus conductor would have to put them back on the wires with a large bamboo pole! Trolleybus 105 was completed in time for the 50th anniversary year, and we could think of nowhere better to show off our latest major achievement than down on the waterfront at the Ipswich Maritime Festival. The Friday will be the 50th anniversary to the day that they finished, so we are inviting people to come down and enjoy the spectacle over the weekend, as part of our exhibition of vintage vehicles."

Trolleybus 105 will be on display Friday afternoon from 2pm, and all day Saturday.

The museum has a large display of vintage vehicles on the waterfront over the weekend. The collection can be viewed in the museum every Sunday 11am - 4pm Easter to November, and on BH Monday 26th August is staging its popular annual 'Ride a Fire Engine Day' (admission charges apply).

Contact Numbers:

Owen Phillips can be contacted at the Museum 01473 715666.

Full press release pdf

Click on here to see Museum Events

Posted: 13th August 2013

BELLS AND SIRENS HERALD FIRE ENGINE DAY

Ipswich Transport Museum's annual 'Ride a Fire Engine Day' takes place on Bank Holiday Monday 26th August 2013.

The museum, which houses over 100 major transport and engineering exhibits, will give the rare opportunity to actually ride in some of their vintage fire engines. One of the fire engines is a 60 year old pump appliance affectionately known as Dennis (named after the firm who made the machine) even has a Rolls Royce engine. It was owned by Suffolk Fire Service for over 50 years before it was donated to the Transport Museum. Visitors will also be able to travel in a former Royal Air Force 'Green Goddess' Bedford appliance.

Museum Trustee Trevor Ling said 'our special event gives families the chance to enjoy the unique thrill of a ride in a fire engine as well as the opportunity to explore some of our many exhibits. We expect to have a number of visiting fire engines dating from the 1920s to the present day. We hope that everyone has a great day out!'

The event runs from 11am to 4 pm. Admission is 6.50 with discounts for children, concessions and families

Contact Numbers:

Bob Mellor, Trevor Ling and Owen Phillips can be contacted at the Museum 01473 715666.

Full press release pdf

A View from a Previous Event

Visitors enjoying the event      

Click on here to see Museum Events