Wythall open day success as museums start to re-open

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As the restrictions of COVID-19 start to lift, museums and organisations are starting to make plans for the ‘new normal’, with some having already held successful events and others planned over the next few months. Nick Larkin reports on the open day held at the Transport Museum, Wythall, over the August Bank Holiday weekend

Transport Museum Wythall’s ‘new normal’ Autumn Bank Holiday Weekend Rally lost none of its character and value, and delivered a great experience for families and enthusiasts alike say the organisers. Visiting buses provided variety and contrast to the museum collections; there were sales stands and a free bus service to and from central Birmingham during the event on 30-31 August, which some 500 visitors attended.

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Collector Roger Burdett, a big supporter of Transport Museum Wythall (TMW), brought along four of his magnificent vehicles including Southdown Leyland PS1 HUF 303 and newly-restored 1950 Coventry Transport Daimler CVA6, GKV 94 on its first public outing. Joining the event was Jim Bailey, former Coventry Transport bus driver who had taken the wheel of both Daimler 94 and 1945 Daimler CWA6 registration EKV 366, fleet number 366, in their service days.

National Express West Midlands gave people the chance to sample all-electric bus travel on its latest ADL double-deckers on both Sunday and Monday; inaugural fleet number 001 ‘Electra’ attended on Monday.

TMW Trust Chairman Dave Taylor said: “It was pleasing to receive so many positive comments on the ground and across social media about the way we have organised the museum in these challenging times to ensure the safe passage of our visitors around the site. Everyone respected the signage, the café arrangements and our one-way system, which ensured a comfortable day for all. Through careful monitoring of people flow around the site since we reopened earlier in August we are now able to supply the demand from visitors by adding more capacity without compromising our standards.”

TMW will continue to open on Saturdays throughout September and October. An autumn running day is planned for 4 October and the twilight running day is set for 25 October.