This gallery is dominated by the two carriages dating back to the late 17th century. Although they have their heritage with the famous Baskerville family in the South West of England the fact that their previous owners decided to donate them to the Castle Museum shows how the City was held in high respect for its museum services and probably should make us think of the importance of this museum in preserving our industrial and transport heritage today. Down the right side of the gallery is the railway display. The name plates from GWR Hall class locomotive Wollaton Hall and LMS City Class locomotive City of Nottingham catch your attention and the cases underneath have items from the days of the Great Central Railway and the imposing Victoria Station.
Along the far wall is the collection of locally made motorcycles. The collection of Brough Superior machines attract many glances with their bright chrome work and imposing size. A number of the bikes are non production models and the ‘Dream’ with its big square four cylinder block, Palethorpe engine attracts many a second look. However the small ‘flat tank’ Campion bike standing along the row is also well worth a second look.. Made in Nottingham in 1921 this 500c.c. bike is probably one of the last Campion motor cycles made. It is reputed that although Campion was in production for a long time and made many motorcycles there are now less that 20 in existence and some of these are incomplete.
Our collection of cycles covers a lot of the range produced by the world renounced Raleigh Company founded by Frank Bowden in the 1880’s in Raleigh Street,, off Alfreton Road and a name still in existence today. Our display includes cycles from the 1950’s when quality and quantity of production were both at a high level. We also have one of a small batch of cycles made for world sprint champion Reg Harris who won medals at the 1948 Olympic games before turning professional and being World Champion in 1949,1950,1951 and 1954. He was featured on a lot of the publicity for Raleigh at the time.
Possibly the star of our cycle collection is to be found hiding in the corner near the exit from the gallery. Here is Thomas Humber’s own bike . It is reputed to have been made by him as a retirement present to himself in1892 and he rode it regularly after moving from his Beeston home to live in Waltham on Thames. It was pushed behind his funeral cortege on his death in 1910 and presented to the Castle Museum in 1920 by his family.
In the centre of the gallery is a Brough Superior car. This is one of only 4 saloons made and although only partly restored featured in an adult learning project run by the City Council in 2009. Along side the Brough is the Celer. This car is something of a mystery. It has a plate on the engine and gearbox ‘Celer Car Company Nottingham’. Apart from that, there is little to link it to the city though there is some suggestion that it was made in the building that now houses Collin’s Warehouse at Bobbersmill.
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