Museum’s Christmas reopening hopes

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A top transport museum is planning to reopen for the three weekends between the planned end of the English lockdown and Christmas – but in the meantime has enjoyed a major online success.

The Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester (MoTGM) was forced to close in line with the second lockdown from 5 November, having been open over the previous six weekends, during which it attracted around 1,000 visitors, helping to top up its finances. The Museum has been awarded ‘Good To Go’ accreditation by Visit England for its reopening protocols including cleaning and staffing.

AEC Regent Rochdale 235 passed a voluntary Class V test on the day before the second English lockdown started, at well-known testers Martin’s of Middlewich. MoTGM

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Meanwhile, the museum has kept up an active presence on social media: posts have included regular activities such as ‘Saturday Showcase,’ featuring its exhibits, and ‘Throwback Thursday’ which is a popular feature with a nostalgic scene from the past. But the viral success has been ‘Mystery Monday,’ in which the museum asks followers to help place the locations of photographs that are in the Museum’s archives but with no known location.

MoTGM social media editor Paul Williams explained: “We have tens of thousands of images in our photo library, and in many cases we recognise the bus, but not where the photo was taken. So every Monday we put out a picture and hand it over to the armchair detectives out there – and they’ve never let us down yet! Each time we post a #MysteryMonday photo, we get thousands – occasionally tens of thousands – of views, and many replies.”

Despite the lockdown, some essential works are continuing at the museum including the ongoing overhauls of Bury Corporation PDR1 Atlantean 116 (REN 116) and Oldham Leyland PD1 246 (DBU 246). An interior refresh has been commenced on the unique double-deck Atkinson SHMD Board 70 (UMA 370) including re-upholstering seats using authentic moquette sourced from the Friends of King Alfred Buses (FoKAB). Meanwhile, engine overhaul work is underway on North Western Fleetline 174 (DDB 174C) with help from the Anson Engine Museum and the museum’s 1939 Salford Corporation Regent 235 (BBA 560), whose 8.8-litre unit needs a surprisingly high degree of dismantling before a serious oil leak can be cured.

For those wanting a challenge, ‘Mystery Monday’ can be found on and – on Mondays of course!


Mystery Monday, a weekly appeal to identify mystery locations featuring buses, has met with massive Twitter and Facebook success. This new to Salford Corporation Leyland Atlantean was found to be in Frederick Road, Salford. MoTGM