Locals come to rescue in Peel

RALLIED ROUND: The Manx Transport Heritage Museum will remain open after volunteers came forward. Ian Sherman is stood next to one of the exhibits, a P50

RALLIED ROUND: The Manx Transport Heritage Museum will remain open after volunteers came forward. Ian Sherman is stood next to one of the exhibits, a P50

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THE future of the Manx Transport Heritage Museum, in Peel, is looking much brighter after local residents responded to its plea for help.

Last month, there were fears that the museum – where exhibits include an original of the world’s smallest car, the P50 – would have to restrict its opening times or even close due to a shortage of curators.

Secretary Sam Knight said: ‘We put an appeal out using posters and word of mouth and we are confident now that the museum will remain open through the season until the end of September.

‘We have the promise of nine new curators or welcomers and this will make a huge difference.’

In a special notice placed on the museum’s website after the committee held an emergency meeting in April it said: ‘The curators are not getting any younger, and over the winter five of the eight have succumbed to illness or become too frail to carry on.

‘It is simply not possible for the remaining three people to staff the museum for the forthcoming season.’

The statement continued: ‘The committee was determined that closure should be a last resort, but it is a very real possibility if volunteers do not come forward to assist.’

Mr Knight said the museum was still keen to hear from anyone who would like to help out.

‘We are asking for two hours a month initially to see how the rota works out.

‘Volunteers need not be conversant with Manx trains, cars or motorbikes but they must be able to welcome the visitors.’

The museum, in the old Brickworks Office in Mill Road, is thought to be the smallest in the island. Since it opened to members of the public in 2002 it has welcomed visitors from as far afield as the United States, New Zealand and China.

Other exhibits include an electric TTXGP motorbike, designed and built in Ramsey, and details and original prototypes of the innovative flywheels and cylinder head for BMC rally cars and racing cars produced by Manx Racing Dev, which was a company owned by Manxman, Bill Quine.

It is open from 1pm to 5pm on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays. Admission is free, annually from Easter to September. For further information contact Sam Knight on 842448.

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