A new bus museum welcomed over 600 visitors when it opened its doors for the first time last weekend in Hucknall.
The project, run entirely by Volunteers of Nottingham Heritage Vehicles Charity (NHVC), has leased the former disused Trent Motor Traction bus garage on Portland Road with the aim of turning it into a leading transport museum.
The free open days allowed local people to learn about the NHVC’s future plans which include bus-trips in vintage vehicles to Papplewick and Linby.
Trustee Simon Lowings said: “We hope to attract as many members of the local community as possible to come along and join in.
“It’s not all about restoring old vehicles. It is hoped to use an area of the premises to explain the development of transport locally and its role in everyday life, to tell the story of those working in the industry locally and to provide a centre where locals can learn new skills in an enjoyable environment - or simply pop in for a cup of tea and a chat!
“It is early days, with the premises requiring major upgrading before accredited museum status is obtained and regular open days can develop.
“As fundraising develops the charity intend developing part of the premises into a tea room for open days alongside creating meeting rooms that may be available for local groups to use.
“The progress of the project is very much influenced by the extent to which the community gets behind it, so as such provides a great opportunity to put something back into Hucknall.”
Over the weekend Simon and fellow trustees enrolled over 35 new members, all eager to help.
Local firms Terratruck and Ezy Fit Tyres offered free car parking over the weekend and Central Waste provided a skip for rubbish.
Dating from 1936, the premises operated as a bus garage until January 2011, becoming a storage facility for surplus vehicles from that point. With art deco features, unusual styles of brickwork and unspoilt period internal fittings the interior really ‘is like stepping back in time.’
Simon, of Valley View in Mansfield, said: “We want to restore the premises to their former glory alongside the vehicles.
“We’re appealing to local tradespeople to offer a little of their time and expertise in moving the project forward. If the community gets behind the project then Hucknall will have something to be proud of.
“We want to thank everyone who attended last weekend and look forward to meeting more of you next time.”
Founded in 1999 the group became a charity in 2010, gaining charity status in 2014.
The collection ranges from the 1950s rear platform double deckers upto a relatively modern Nottingham Bendy bus.
For more information email email@example.com or drop in on a Saturday morning.
Another open door event is planned towards the end of October/early November.