ROYAL OPENING FOR THE HERITAGE MOTOR CENTRE

Filed under: Classic News |
ROYAL OPENING FOR THE HERITAGE MOTOR CENTREMore than 300 guests gathered at the Heritage Motor Centre (HMC), Gaydon, yesterday to see Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal officially open its new exhibitions, after a Heritage Lottery funded re-development. The museum, home to the world's largest collection of British cars, opened at the end of May this year after 5 months of refurbishment. Her Royal Highness arrived by helicopter at the Centre's 65 acre site and was welcomed by Martin Dunne, Lord-Lieutenant of Warwickshire who presented other members of the Civic Party and Charles Vacy-Ash, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust. After meeting Heritage Motor Centre staff at the museum's main entrance, Her Royal Highness was escorted around Making British Cars, the first of three new interactive exhibitions, which tells the story of the British motor industry, spanning the last century. These included exhibits covering topics such as, cars for the masses, the Second World War, supply chain, post war and the rebirth of car manufacture in the 1970s. Children from local school Kineton Church of England Primary School and Education staff from the HMC dressed in period costume, greeted Her Royal Highness outside the two further exhibitions Under the Skin, which interactively looks at the workings of a car and Life's Highway, where visitors are encouraged to share their transport memories. It was a momentous occasion for these school children, particularly for one child, who dressed in a bus conductor's uniform, was all smiles as she handed Her Royal Highness a ticket from her ticket machine outside a 1920's bus, on loan from London Transport Museum. The re-development also included the construction of a new mezzanine floor, which provides panoramic views of the car collection and showcases some of Britain's greatest car designs, including the Jaguar E-Type, Morris Minor Mini, Ford Model T and Land Rover Series 1. Her Royal Highness spoke enthusiastically about the museum's hard work in creating some fascinating exhibitions and reminding people of how things have developed in the motor industry, especially when we often take transport for granted. She then unveiled the commemorative plaque to mark the official opening of the new-look museum. Julie Tew, Managing Director of the HMC, commented on the importance of the re-development: "The money gratefully received from the Heritage Lottery Fund has enabled us to depict the fascinating story of the British motor industry in a bright new context, which is educational, fun and inspiring. We hope to reach a much wider audience, both the young and the old and keep the memory of British motor history alive." Stephen Laing, Museum Curator and joint project leader said: "Making British Cars and Under the Skin complement our great collection of British cars. We have been able to illustrate the history of Britain's motor industry with photographs, film and objects that have not been seen by the public before and bring the story right up-to-date in an exciting, hands-on way."Tags: