Sunday, 18 November 2012

'Stepping out' to Mouldsworth Motor Museum

Today was a brilliant cold but clear-blue-sky sunny late autumn day, so some form of motorcycling had to be done!

Malc and I decided to visit the Motor Museum at Mouldsworth, near Chester. It's a trip we'd had 'on the back burner' for a while, waiting for the right day. The museum is only open on Sundays until the end of November so today was ideal. We rode there on the 'Steppers' (low power step-through motorbikes). I went on my Honda C90 so Malc (who has a few 'Steppers' and 'Chicken Chasers' [sub 50cc machines] to choose from) took his C90 as well.

As ever, click (and click again!) on any picture for a better, more detailed, clearer, and larger image.

The C90 photographed on another day, with my MX5 in the background. I bought the bike earlier this year (it's in the blog - go look!), and added the rear rack and rare white top box myself, care of eBay.

The back roads (steppers are more fun on these than on 'A' roads) were still a bit frosty this morning so we had to be careful on the first bit of the run, out through Warford, Ollerton and Peover to visit Graham at Northwich for a warming cup of coffee. Graham took a picture of us on our Steppers on arrival,seen below.

Malc and I on our 'steppers' in Graham's yard this morning

After being shown around Graham's latest 'home improvements' (including a central heating boiler he recently installed, complete with its own gas meter!) we hit the road out through Northwich to Hartford, Gorstage, Cuddington, Norely and through Delamere Forest to Mouldsworth. From Hartford onwards the route was along country lanes, delightful in the low late autumn sunshine.

Not a handsome building! The museum is housed in this concrete ex-water treatment plant. Our 'steppers' are by the fence on the right.

This Vincent HRD is worth a bob or two.... There were a few more motorcycles in the museum, including a Sunbeam, Frances Barnett, and Royal Enfield.

 We were told that this little Morris tourer was extremely rare, one of only three in existence

Trojan bubble car, a licence built Heinkel

This general view down the museum shows its industrial origins. There is a bore hole in an adjacent building but the water from it is very hard, so it was 'softened' in the treatment plant which is now the museum. The Mid Cheshire Railway runs by the rear of the site, and Northwich rock salt was brought by rail to the plant's own sidings for use in water softening. These days the bore hole is only used in case of drought, the usual water supply for the Chester area (including Mouldsworth) coming from Lake Vyrnwy in Wales.

Malc inspects a Rover chassis. The dun-coloured car is Crossley, built in Manchester.

Not just cars on display here, either....

This original Heinkel left hand drive bubble car had only one owner all its life and was purchased in its present dilapidated condition by the museum owner. When the purchaser heard that the garage the little car had been stored in was going to be demolished, he offered to take it away. It was re-assembled in the museum, once again providing a home for its long-disused occupant!

I've always thought a mid-60s 3.8 Jaguar E-Type convertible in red to be probably the sexiest car ever. This one is a 1969 4.2, and lacks chrome wire wheels, so doesn't quite cut the mustard. But it's very nice anyway!

It looks as good today as it did in the '60s!

Not sure why the RAC man is typing a letter on the bonnet of this 1930 Morris Minor....

Interesting little sports car powered by an earlier 500cc version of the 750cc parallel twin engine that powers my Triumph Bonneville motorcycle

At this time of year it soon starts to get dark, so we headed homeward about mid afternoon a quicker way back (even on Steppers!) using the A54 and A556 as far as Davenham, then the country lanes home via Lach Dennis, Peover, Ollerton and Warford.

My C90 was quite mucky by the time I got home, streaked in mud and probably a bit salty too from the semi-icy roads of this morning, so it got a thorough hose-down, clean, and drying-off before retiring to the garage and the company of the 'big bikes' (Triumph Bonneville and Suzuki Freewind) in there. These little 'steppers' are as much fun as those big bikes in their own way!

Another great day out for the old gits! 

Postscript, 20th January 2013

Sad news this week. It seems we saw the museum at perhaps the last possible time we could have, as it closed for the winter soon after our visit, and will not re-open. Here is a message from the proprietor:

14 January 2013

A personal message from James Peacop

After 40 years the Museum at Mouldsworth has been forced to close.
I would like to offer my thanks to all those who have visited and supported this popular collection during the past 40 years.

I have tried to keep this unique collection of cars and auto memorabilia together in Cheshire, but this has proved impossible.
I have therefore instructed BRIGHTWELLS, the auctioneers at Leominster, near Hereford, to arrange suitable sales.


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