Conversations at the Dover Transport Museum, February 25th

Posted on March 5, 2015


On Wednesday last, I travelled to the museum with my stills camera and video camera. I assumed I was going to be rolling my video camera the whole day absorbing the behind the scenes work of the museum’s volunteers. Instead I was picking up my stills camera dipping in and out of conversation, learning all sorts about the backgrounds of certain items, the restoration process, the vast collection of manuals for some of the automobiles and how demanding some vehicle maintenance can be. Sometimes it’s best to let conversations naturally unfold, I put my video camera away and became engrossed in the liveliness of the day.

Model railway in Dover Transport Museum

The museum had a rich and vast collection from pedal cycles/velocipedes, former public transport, police cars, models of shop fronts, Welignton Hall, J.M. Martin’s Electrical shop, (Snargate Street features in the 2nd show room) as well as a gorgeous Dover Corporation light railway model that was handmade and is currently being installed in the café that overlooks the main exhibit hall.

Dover Corporation light railway model

Delving in and out of each room you in the main hall you can find a motorcycle repair shop also from Dover’s illustrious past as well as the cinema, bicycle repair shop and of course the WW1 Pierce Arrow, Bleriot and WW1 Military Sunbeam. Brian pointed out that this model has a chain case; most of the original Sunbeams didn’t have this protection for the chain, which was probably convenient for quick repair but would have maybe caused problems for keeping the chain well oiled… Some of the models came with 2 gears, probably for the best considering the weight of arms and other supplies as well as the tricky terrain!

WW1 exhibit

Every time I visit the Dover Transport Museum I’m instantly drawn towards the WW1 bicycle. The range of bicycles in the museum is quite extensive from early velocipedes (pictured below a boneshaker) dating in design to roughly the 19th century to postal bikes, old fold-up bikes, tandems, tricycles, and all sorts. I’m keen to return with my camera and try some more bicycles out!

Motorbike and cycle shop