and the winner is …..

The winner of our 2015 prize draw is Mr Geoff James from Hereford.

His prize, for two people, includes the use of a classic car for a weekend of his choosing during the summer of 2016, along with Saturday night B&B and Sunday lunch in the Cotswolds.

Congratulations! We look forward to some pictures of Geoff enjoying his prize later in the year.


Our 2015 Raffle

Today was the day when the winner of our 2015 Cotswold Classic Raffle was drawn. Contact will now be made with the lucky winner and further details will appear here in due course.2015 ticket

What do the Museum Friends do?

What do the Friends do?

There’s lots that needs doing, some of which are ongoing tasks whilst others are finite projects. We need more volunteers to help with the following areas. Do you know anybody else who might be interested in volunteering?

Housekeeping We really need more help in this area!

Rationalising the Supporting Library

We are offered maps, books and manuals etc. quite often but before we can physically take any more we need to rationalise what we already have

Rationalising the Stored Items

We have many items in storage, which are not part of the museum collection, that need to be found a new home

Basic Conservation

There are always plenty of things needing doing, ranging from replacing inner tubes to treating vulnerable materials

Improving Displays

We could improve displays much faster if we had more help! For example, we need to acquire more quality items from the 1960s & ’70s and we would like to renovate some light-box signs so that we can light them again


We have lots of hanging baskets and a garden to keep on top of

Maintenance of our vehicles

As well as ongoing conservation, renovation of the rickshaw outside and a newly-acquired bicycle are priorities

Preparing For and Assisting with School Visits

We could do with another person to help guide school groups around the museum and promote the workshops to schools

Research for Labels and/or Displays ……. this can be done from home!

‘In Character’ interaction with visitors

This is an area that could be developed if you’d find it fun to do

Staffing the Refreshments Hut ……. on the occasional busy sunny days

Something Else …………….. we are open to suggestions!

If you are able to take a part in any of these activities, please do not hesitate to contact us at:

or on 01451 821255. Thank you.


Exhaust Emissions from Diesel Cars

The impact of 150 years of motoring on our environment is a subject that has been addressed in every issue of the museum’s website research notes since their creation 6 years ago. The latest issue, “The Impact of Motoring”, is now in ebook format. Atmospheric pollution from a cocktail of car exhaust gases and particulate matter (soot) has long been a concern of legislators around the world and is currently a daily headline across much of the UK media.

California led the way in vehicle emissions legislation in the 1970s, with the adoption of catalytic converters marking the start of a phasing out of leaded petrol. Limits to gaseous and particulate emissions in Europe were specified in 1992 in a directive frequently abbreviated to Euro 1. Currently car manufacturers need to meet the requirements of Euro 6 before they can offer cars for sale in the European market. In two areas, emissions of particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen, both particularly relevant to current media attention, the progression from Euro 1 to 6 is shown in the charts below. The left hand scale is in units of milligrams per kilometre driven.Slide2Slide1Two points to note from these charts: firstly significant reductions in emissions have been legislated at each stage of the directive and, secondly, the transition from Euro 5 to 6, covering NOx emissions from a diesel powered car, represents a significant step. One that has challenged manufacturers who are all keen not to compromise performance nor add to production costs.

New vehicle type approval is a requirement for selling in the European market and this is only granted once manufacturers have demonstrated compliance with the relevant directive: since September 2014 this has been Euro 6.

A great deal of the recent publicity surrounding emissions from diesel cars has focused on the difference in emissions performance between the standardised regime used during compliance testing and real world driving conditions. Independent tests have shown many real-world performance figures to be in excess of the legal limits by a significant factor. So, one issue facing legislators is how to make the testing regime more accurately reflect realistic driving conditions. In the short term this may even see the legal limits increased above the idealised Euro 6 levels.

One argument proffered in the current debate is that even if the modern diesel is more polluting under real-world conditions than required by law, it is still a lot better than the diesel engine of 15 or more years ago. Sadly, the counter to this argument is that over the last 15 years the UK use of diesel powered cars has increased from 12.9% to 36.7% of the total number on our roads.

Undoubtedly, there is still more of the media story to unfold: all manufacturers face a similar struggle to affordably comply with demanding legislation and suppliers of electronic engine management hardware and their software developers usually have more than a single motor manufacturer customer.

To return to the museum website, the final section of our ebook looks to the future of motoring and acknowledges the environmental implications of diesel powered transport. It also looks at what may replace it!

Vauxhall Victors go to the Dog

That is the Dog country pub in Harvington, near Kidderminster. One of our Museum Friends is closely associated with the club for pre-1980 Vauxhalls: the Vauxhall Victor Club. The club held two rallies at Harvington in 2015. The first event, in April, attracted 12 Vauxhalls (7 Victors and 5 Vivas) from across the Midlands with the final event of the year being held in August. The club website is the place to look for future events and is also the source of the image below.

F-Type Victor - a personal favourite

F-Type Victor – a personal favourite

End-to-end on a James

The ‘James’ in question was a 98cc motor cycle, just like the one on display in the museum, and the year was 1952.

98cc James in the museum

98cc James in the museum

Following her visit to the museum, a lady has been in touch to say that the visit reminded her of the exploits of her late father who, as a James motor cycle dealer, made the trip from his home in Nottingham to Land’s End, to John O’Groats and back to Nottingham in just five days. She also sent a copy of her father’s story of the trip which he carried out, on his own initiative, to “demonstrate the outstanding efficiency of the model under sustained stress over a very long and arduous journey”. 

Ernest Dench set off on 25 May 1952 and over the next five days he covered 1850 miles in some pretty unpleasant weather conditions, with an average fuel consumption of 140mpg and stints in the saddle of almost 700 miles non-stop. How many car or motor cycle salesmen today can back up the products they sell with such a personal testimony to the quality of the product? 

In the 1970s Ernest became a member of The End to End Club. For those interested, a slightly longer version of his story, plus a further photo, it is available from the museum.

Ernest back in the showroom with his reliable James

Ernest back in the showroom with his reliable James

Museum in the Forest of Dean

The Forest of Dean was the location for the Festival in the Forest weekend – 4/5 July – at which the museum staff arranged a display of classic cars to join the museum’s Austin Seven. Friends and staff of the museum brought along their classic cars and were joined by members of the CSMA Classic Car Group. The dozen or so cars attracted a lot of interest, especially the hand-built sports car based on the Rover P4 chassis and running gear. The prospect of winning our 2015 ‘Cotswold Classic Car Weekend’ prize draw ensured a good sale of tickets amongst those visiting the display.