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28 October 2014

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You are in: Birmingham > Features > General Features > Night at the museum


Night time at the transport museum

Night at the museum

When the doors are closed to the public, the Aston Manor Transport Museum comes alive. See the story behind the 'Big Picture'.

One of the most exciting things about looking through the thousands of photos added to The Big Picture is seeing those things that you'd never normally get a chance to witness.

Buses at Aston Manor Road Transport Museum

Smoke rises as a bus is started for the first time

Martin Fisher uploaded this picture of the activity at night at the Aston Manor Transport Museum where he and other volunteers were repairing a bus. Smoke rises and he says it "has just been started for the first time for years - and it shows! No wonder we don't do this when the public are around!"

Keeping transport history alive

Martin has be volunteering at the museum for about four years, nominally looking after the vehicles mechanically, but also driving on some of the free bus services during the year. "Like many of the volunteers, I spent my career in the transport industry, so this involvement keeps my interest going and, hopefully, my experience and knowledge can, in turn, help keep our transport history alive."

The Aston Manor Transport Museum is situated in the old Aston Manor Tram Depot, close to the Villa football ground, and  is a charity, entirely staffed by volunteers like Martin. It features buses and other commercial vehicles generally with some Midlands connection.

A pair of Seagulls

A pair of Seagulls

Night time restoration

It is open to the public each weekend, but there is a "working group" one evening each week during which some of the repair and restoration work is done and where Martin took his photos "just keeping old vehicles roadworthy once they are restored is quite a task."

Martin says: "This work does, indeed, go on quite late some nights - certainly many evenings we are still working at 11 o'clock. Sometimes we work on larger jobs at weekends, on another site that we rent. There is not much that we can't tackle, unless very specialist skills or equipment are needed."

"Sometimes we have to recognise that some tasks are just too big to be attempted and there are vehicles put aside until there is enough money for professional restoration."

Visiting the museum

The museum is open on Saturdays and Sundays, 11:00 to 17:00 (16:00 November to February), with a small admission charge. The phone number is 0121 322 2298 (with an answering machine outside opening hours).  In addition to the regular opening, the museum also runs a number of special events during the year, check the website for a full programme.

The Big Picture

To be part of The Big Picture and the world record attempt there are two ways you can submit your photos. Upload them directly onto the project website:

Or send them in the post to: The Big Picture, FREEPOST BM2782, Birmingham, B18 6BR

last updated: 07/02/2008 at 13:57
created: 07/02/2008

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