The fate of a large part of the exhibits from the old Birmingham Museum of Science and Industry in Newhall Street is something I have been considering recently. A lot of the exhibits were stored when the disasterously-named “Think Tank” was built to replace what was a fascinating place with an soulless, plastic, dumbed-down, theme resort sort of “venue”. I was invited to the opening of “Think Tank” and found that the interactive rubber lettuces which, for some reason which escapes me now you needed to punch, didn’t always emit the squeel they were designed to when treated in this way (?!). Compare that experience with the joy of being aged 8 and being able to move the several tonnes of a main line LMS steam locomotive at the flick of a switch (or for that matter climb onto the wing of a Spitfire to peer into the cock-pit) and my sense of dissappointment might be evident.
The stores are in Dollman Street and are opened to the public once a year or so. A website explains the need for the stores so as to house the “overspill”.
My interest was prompted by the discivery that one item of “overspill” was veteran Scott (and side car??) KT 4963 which has been languishing there for a number of years. A picture was posted on the web some years ago but I cannot find it now, so assume that it has been taken down. I think that Dollman Street opens in September as part of the Heritage Open days scheme. I missed it last year but intend to make enquiries of the council on behalf of the Club to see whether access would be possible. If Varey’s bike was at the Newhall Street museum it might well be in Dollman Street and when I get around to it I will make an enquiry concerning that bike too.