Museum Press Releases
Posted: 22nd May 2013
Trolley good restoration to be revealed at electric vehicle celebration
Ipswich Transport Museum's latest restoration, electric trolleybus No.105 will be unveiled by Mark Murphy of BBC Radio Suffolk at the museum's Priory Heath depot on Sunday 26th May.
The restored trolleybus, which was new in 1948, carried its last passengers in 1963 when the towns' overhead wires were switched off for the last time. It became a mobile canteen, before acquisition by the museum in 1971. It has been restored by a dedicated team over the last 10 years. Work has included rebuilding the structure, building new seats, rewiring, overhauling the electric motor and replacing the brakes. A complete set of wooden slatted seats also had to be assembled and constructed.. The trolleybus is now resplendent in Ipswich green and cream with authentic period adverts, and distinctive mottled aluminium panels.
Ken Watson, a retired coach driver who has masterminded the project for the museum said 'I'm pleased we've done it at last. It's been a major effort, but worth it. Our dedicated team have been helped enormously by the various grants and donations that have helped fund the restoration. We've raised all the money and done most of the work ourselves. The Science Museum chipped in with £10,000 which helped enormously'.
Ken says the team have spent an estimated 50,000 hours working on the restoration, which has cost over £25,000. 'We can even use the bus at museums where they have overhead wires' Mr Watson added.
Museum Trustee Mark Smith paid tribute to the team. 'It's a fantastic achievement. We're planning to enjoy the vehicle ourselves this year but in the future it can be a roving ambassador for the museum at other trolleybus events. Many of our volunteers are self taught, and have managed one of the best restorations I've ever seen. Ipswich can be very proud of this vehicle'.
Ken Hammond, 69, who travelled on the very last Ipswich trolleybus in 1963, said 'This brings back memories for me. The team have done an amazing job - this is just how I remember our 'trolleys'. The green and cream always looked smart with those unique silver panels'.
The 'trolley' will be displayed at the special event on Sunday 26th May alongside a range of other electric powered vehicles new and old - including the brand new iconic 'New Bus for London' - also known as the Borismaster, thanks to the Boris Johnson who insisted on it's traditional open rear platform.
Local garage Bristow's are demonstrating two new Renault electric cars, while the Museum has also reactivated two 1970s Enfield battery cars used by Eastern Electricity and a 'Pandora' electric bicycle. Numerous other battery vehicles will be on display inside the museum. There will also be free bus tours of former Ipswich trolleybus routes.
The 'Electric Vehicle Spectacular' takes place at the Ipswich Transport Museum from 10.30am until 4pm on Sunday 26th May. Admission is £6.50 with reductions for children, concessions and families. Bus rides are free. A timetable is available on the museum's website.
Full press release
Posted: 24th April 2013
Ipswich Transport Museum wins Heritage Lottery Fund support to restore historic East Anglian horse-drawn tramcar
On 16th April 2013 Ipswich Transport Museum received £49,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards the restoration of a horse drawn tramcar dating from the 1880s.
The tram was used for a short period in Bradford before operating in Cambridge as No.7 from 1894 until 1914. The body of the tram spent over 95 years as a workshop extension to a bungalow, and is believed to be the last surviving East Anglian horse tram. Over a five-year period visitors to the Museum, at the Old Trolleybus Depot in Ipswich, will be able to view progress of the restoration, as the volunteers work to restore the remains of the tramcar to full working order.
Once complete the restoration will enable visitors to the Museum to experience local public transport from the horse tram era, through the times of electric trams and trolleybuses to the motor buses of today.
Ipswich Transport Museum is a volunteer run organisation that aims to preserve and present to the public the transport and engineering heritage of Ipswich and the immediate area. Commenting on the award, Chairman, Tony King, said: "We are delighted to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, and are confident that this restoration will enhance the visitor experience at the Museum."
The Horse Drawn Tram
Full press release
Posted: 17th April 2013
CLASSICS LINE UP FOR 43rd HISTORIC RUN
500 classic cars, motorcycles, lorries, buses and military vehicles will take part in the 43rd annual Ipswich to Felixstowe Historic Vehicle Run on Sunday 5th May.
The event is expected to attract over 20,000 visitors to Ipswich and Felixstowe. Vehicles have to be over 30 years old to take part in the event. Entries include a 1913 Ford Model T car, a 1915 Sentinel Steam Lorry and a 1976 Leyland Atlantean bus which used to run in Ipswich. One of the newest entrants is a 1982 Land Rover.
Hundreds of onlookers are expected to gather along the route to Felixstowe, which is free to watch in Ipswich, Felixstowe and en route. There will be a souvenir programme produced especially for the event available from event stewards.
The Mayor of Ipswich will inspect vehicles in Christchurch Park before they depart for Felixstowe at 1200. The first vehicles are expected to line up on Felixstowe Promenade from around 1245.
Rally organiser Trevor Ling said 'In 1971 the run attracted about 100 entrants. Nowadays we get five times that. It proves the popularity of the event and our love of nostalgia - the event has become a fixture in the calendar for over 40 years and continues to be one of the most popular events in Ipswich. It's a tribute to all the volunteers who organise the event and vehicle owners who take part'.
Museum officials are hoping for good weather as the event is one of the busiest days of the year for Felixstowe's sea front traders.
A Previous Event
Full press release
Posted: 12th March 2013
THE LORRY IN JAM FOR 94 YEARS
Ipswich Transport Museum re-opens its doors for an anniversary laden year on Sunday 24th March - with a 94 year old lorry starring as a new exhibit.
The Leyland RAF type lorry, new in 1919, operated for the jam maker Chivers of Histon, Cambridge. Chivers' lorries visited the town regularly delivering jams and preserves 'by Royal Appointment' - and this example is probably one of them. The vehicle is owned by the Historic Commercial Vehicle Society and was restored in 1963. It has since travelled on the famous London to Brighton run and appeared at numerous rallies but has recently been in storage. It will be displayed at the museum for visitors to enjoy throughout 2013.
Museum trustee Mark Smith explained 'this vehicle fills a gap in our collection as we haven't got a restored lorry from the early years of the combustion engine. It makes a fascinating comparison with our 1923 Trolleybus, as the two could well have been seen together in town in the 1920s. It's only likely to be here for 12 months so we hope it will encourage visitors to come and see it and our superb museum collections.
The lorry joins the museum at an exciting time. 2013 marks 110 years since the start of electric trams, 60 years of buses serving Chantry Estate and 50 years since the end of Ipswich Trolleybuses. A number of special events are planned to celebrate these anniversaries, and detailed will be announced later in the Spring.
Over the winter volunteers have been working hard to complete the restoration of a 1948 Ipswich trolleybus, complete with wooden seats. It is currently being painted at the museum's Priory Heath depot. In addition, work has commenced on converting the museum store to additional display space, which will take 12-18 months to complete.
In addition, the museum hope to begin a 5-year restoration of its 1894 Starbuck horse tram later in the year. A funding bid has been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the museum expects to hear soon if the bid has been successful.
'It's been a busy winter and a huge amount has been achieved by our volunteers - but we could always do with more' said museum Chairman Tony King. 'It's a great credit to our dedicated supporters. We hope this work will inspire more people to join us'.
The museum's first special event will be an Easter Egg Hunt on Bank Holiday 1st April.
The Chivers' Lorry
Full press release
Posted: 12th December 2012
IPSWICH TRANSPORT MUSEUM WINS ASSOCIATION FOR INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY
Ipswich Transport Museum is delighted to receive the prestigious Association for Industrial Archaeology (AIA) 'Presidents Award'.
The award is given to groups who have made a significant contribution to industrial archaeology, for example in research, publication recording or conservation.
The award was presented to the museum by AIA President Prof Marilyn Palmer on Tuesday 11th December.
Museum chairman Tony King said 'This is great news for the museum and we're pleased that our hard work in preserving the engineering and transport heritage of the town has been recognised in this way. It's a tremendous reward for all our hardworking volunteers who look after our collections'.
The award coincides with the commencement of a major project at the museum's Priory Heath site, which will create additional display space from Easter 2014, together with a purpose built mezzanine floor to provide storage space for its huge archive and library.
The Award being presented to Tony King
Full press release
Posted: 25th November 2012
MUSEUM CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS WITH CRACKER OF AN EVENT
Ipswich Transport Museum rounds off its 2012 season with its annual 'Christmas Cracker' event on Saturday 1st. December.
Visitors will be given old penny coins to spend, which and they'll be able to buy an orange from the greengrocer, a bus ticket from the conductor and a ride on an historic fire engine. In addition the museum is planning seasonal attractions including a brass ensemble, face painting, craft stall and a vintage barrel organ. There will also be free rides at regular intervals on some of the museum's historic buses and coaches, and the Ipswich Community Playbus will be attending too.
After all the fun there's the chance to enjoy a nice warm cup of tea our Sunbeam Tea Room, and pick up that last minute present in our gift shop. Event organiser Trevor Ling reckons it's the perfect antidote to Christmas shopping!
Enthusiasts will be able to see the latest museum restorations nearing completion, including a 1948 Ipswich Trolleybus.
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'.
The event runs from 11am to 4pm, admission is £6.50 for adults and £18 for families. All vehicle rides and additional attractions at the museum are included in the admission price.
Full press release
Posted: 1st November 2012
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 Saturday 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 7pm, accompanied by a number of visiting vehicles.
Event Organiser Mark Smith explained 'We've run many successful bus events in the past but this year we wanted to try something different. 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 a warm cup of soup 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 1994. Visiting buses include a 1950s Bristol open top bus from Southend Sea Front, a 1949 Crossley from Sunderland and a 92 seat tri-axle Dennis Dragon bus that started life in Kenya.
Admission costs £6.50 for adults and £18 for families with reductions for concessions. All museum bus rides on the old vehicles are free.
The Transport museum is well served by frequent service buses from Ipswich Buses and First Ipswich, (routes 4 and 77) where normal fares will apply. Fare payers who travel to the museum on First or Ipswich Buses services will be entitled to a reduced admission charge upon production of a valid ticket.
In addition a free bus to the museum will operate from Ipswich Rail Station half hourly from at 20 and 50 minutes past the hour from 1320.
Visitors are encouraged to use public transport as there is limited parking at the museum.
Full press release
Event organiser Mark Smith with one of the historic buses which will be on display at the Winter Warmer event on 10th November
Posted: 29th September 2012
Back to the 50s for special Jubilee Event
Ipswich Transport Museum is celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee on Sunday 7th October with a special event demonstrating vehicles which were a common sight in 1952. Around 25 cars, light commercials and motorcycles from the era will be on display at the museum, and they will be joined by buses and fire engines from the museum's collection. The visitors are specially invited guests, and are lovingly restored, privately owned examples which are not normally seen on display at the museum.
Event organiser Tony King said 'We decided to run this special event late in the season as it would not clash with the numerous Jubilee celebrations in the summer. We've invited selected owners to bring their priceless historic vehicles for the public to enjoy, and see what 50s motoring was all about. They're vehicles which were typical at the time of Her Majesty's accession in 1952'.
Vehicles expected to visit the museum include Morris, Armstrong Siddeley, Bentley, MG and Messerschmitt cars, as well as Bedford, Ford and Dodge light commercials. These will be joined by 1950s buses and fire engines made by Dennis, AEC and Bristol from the museum's own collection of over 100 major exhibits. Visitors will be able to ride on some of the museum's buses and their 1949 Bedford OB coach.
The event will run from 11am to 4pm. Admission to the museum costs £6.50 with reductions for concessions, children and families. A free bus service will operate from the town centre and rail station as well as the museum, and the timetable will be posted on the museum's website shortly before the event.
Full press release
Posted: 24th August 2012
BELLS AND SIRENS HERALD FIRE ENGINE DAY
Ipswich Transport Museum's annual 'Ride a Fire Engine Day' takes place on Bank Holiday Monday 27th August 2012.
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 59 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.
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
Full press release
Posted: 18th July 2012
ALL ABOARD FOR THE TRANSPORT MUSEUM
July 18th, 2012: Visitors to the Ipswich Transport Museum will have the chance to arrive in style on a historic bus on three Sundays in August 2012.
On 5th, 12th and 19th of August one of the museum's fleet of historic buses will run an hourly service from the railway station and tower ramparts bus station to and from the museum.
Museum vice-chairman Mark Smith said 'this is a new initiative for the summer, and we are offering the chance to ride on one of our buses as part of a lesiurely summer day out. A trip round the whole route will take around 45 minutes, including a ride over the Orwell Bridge. We hope it will encourage people to break their journey with a visit to the museum and see our amazing collections.'
Vehicles on display include a tram, trolleybuses, bikes, lorries, fire engines and a large collection of engineering items - all of which were made or used in Ipswich.
Full press release
Bus Timetable Bus Timetable
Posted: 3rd May 2012
IPSWICH TRANSPORT MUSEUM UNVEILS NEW STORE BUILDING
April 28th, 2012: Ipswich Transport Museum is pleased to announce that it has purchased a new 400 sq m store building, which it officially took receipt of today from local commercial property developer Artisan (UK) Developments Ltd.
The keys to the new purpose-built unit were formally presented to ITM Chairman, Mr Tony King, by Artisan's Managing Director, Mr Michael Eyres, during a celebratory Open Day for ITM members. The building is to be named 'The Peter Bannister Building' in the summer in honour of the former Museum trustee whose estate has kindly enabled funding of the new building.
Located at Quantum Business Park in the Whitehouse Road business area, the new ITM store building will house a number of objects whilst not on public display at the Museum's main exhibition hall at the former Priory Heath trolleybus depot in Cobham Road.
Museum vice chairman Mark Smith said, "This is an exciting phase in the development of the Museum. Although the new premises will not be open to the general public, the store will enable us to improve the main museum exhibition hall at Priory Heath, and give us more space so we can display big exhibits like buses and fire engines more effectively."
Full press release
Handing over the keys