Muse in a Museum

– (verb) to be absorbed in thought
– (noun) an instance or period of reflection

I think museums are great places to visit.

There is a vast array in New Zealand and they vary tremendously from small personal collections in garages to fantastic displays in swish buildings with air-con, shiny floors and a pricey cafe.

Todays post is about the British Car Museum which we stumbled upon last October during a visit to Hawkes Bay.

It is not swish but it’s most certainly interesting and I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything else like it.

In Ian Hope’s backyard (the actual address is 63 East Road, Te Awanga) there is a collection of over 300 cars and trucks.  Although there are some “leftovers” outside – most of the vehicles are actually housed in a very large shed, or two.
There are so many that they are quite often stacked up in doubles.

Ian told us he’s going to order more of the special frames that enable him to display one vehicle positioned over another. His buildings are already bursting at the seams and yet he is still acquiring new cars.

When we spoke to him he mentioned that he’d been on the online auction site Trade Me the night before watching something of interest… I quite honestly don’t know where he’d put any more vehicles.

But you cannot get between a man and his collection of cars.

The Kiwi Annison males seemed suitably impressed with the collection of vehicles and Sam was oft heard saying, “Wow, I used to have one of these.”

I’m not actually a huge car fan myself.

I can recognise a few brands and certainly acknowledge the history in some of the older vehicles but I’m the type of person that normally identifies cars by their shape and/or colour, “That one over there… the little blue one”.

However… walking around Ian’s museum (which I’m reliably told houses over 30 Morris Minors alone), I soaked up the social, personal side of all the old vehicles and their previous owners. A lot of cars had small personal artifacts displayed in or around them; receipts, letters, invoices,  old photographs etc.

I like to “get” the vibes of the items on display in museums, whether it’s old cars, clothes, furniture or whatever.
For me, museums can tell fascinating tales not only of the items themselves but the lives of their previous owners.

If you visit this museum don’t expect to see 300+ restored cars. As I guess you can see from my pictures many of the vehicles are not in great condition. But… there was a workshop in the museum and it seemed that many of the vehicles were being worked on… at some kind of pace.

Take it as you find it.
In my opinion they are infinitely better here than left in a field to rot.

They obviously bring Ian Hope a lot of joy and it would appear many other visitors too.

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