Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Hiddee Treasures
On Sunday we were very fortunate to be in Birmingham.
Twice a year - in May and October - the Birmingham Museums open their reserve collection to the public and this Sunday was October apparently. How we manages this time warp I am unsure unless perhaps Le Medicin Qui was involved This might indeed be the case as we saw Le Tardis outside the Jewellery Quarter station today. In any case we boarded an old bus by the museum on Sunday morning and were whisked off to the Collection Centre. Perhaps whisked is the wrong term for grinding along at 25mph.
On arrival (still in the same year, I believe) we entered a warehouse (90,000 sq ft) with almost 3000 pallets and five miles of shelving full of STUFF. Process machinery, cars, bikes (motor & push), household items, pottery, stuffed animals, textiles, glassware, shoes, cameras, musical instruments, toys, etc. etc. etc. We needed the full five hours to look around before being whisked back to the present - this time in an open-topped bus from the 1950s.
I was particularly pleased to see this example of the Austin A90 Atlantic which was driven for seven days and nights continuously at Indianapolis in 1949 to take 63 American stock-car record. The three drivers covered 11,850 miles at an average speed of 70.54mph with refuelling and tyre change stops of only two minutes duration.
A special mention goes to the gentleman who brought along his A40 Dorset. A rare beast. (the car, not the man). Whilst the four-door Devon sold 300,000 models, the two-door Dorset only sold 15,000 before being discontinued.

Where we boarded the bus in the city centre there was another transport curiosity - these tramlines. Whether they were placed here as a 'heritage' feature or whether they pre-date the pedestrianisation I do not know. No-one around seemed to have noticed them.

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