Friday, 4 November 2011

Friday bikes (and cars, and trains, etc.....)

As I was on holiday today I took the opportunity to visit the Riverside Museum in Glasgow. This opened earlier this year and replaces the old Transport Museum at the Kelvin Hall. This had been a favourite of mine, and when I had worked at the nearby University of Glasgow, I could visit it at lunchtime.
As the name suggests, the Riverside is beside the River Clyde, so ships can be berthed alongside. At the moment the Glenlee 'The Tall Ship' is berthed there and open for visits. Today there was a large party of very young and noisy schoolchildren running about the boat, so I'll visit it on another occasion.

The Riverside itself is a stunning building designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, and there are numerous pictures of it on her website. The museum doesn't open until 11 on a Friday, and as I was a bit early I wandered round it taking photos.

This is the North Entrance (car park side).

And this is an attempt at an 'artistic' shot of the South Entrance (river side).

Whilst I was waiting, I took a photo of the paddle steamer Waverley berthed outside the nearby Science Centre. The Waverley has a special place in your memory if you grew up in the West of Scotland in the 60s and 70s. It was saved from being scrapped by a public appeal and is the last sea going paddle steamer in the world. Website

The museum opened, and I made my way in to see their huge collection of cars, bikes, train, trams, etc. One of the first things I saw was a display of Graeme Obree's racing bicycles.

Bike at the front is his home built Old Faithful. Next to the display there was a monitor, which when you pressed a button showed a short video by Graeme describing how he built the bikes.

There's just so many exhibits that bikes and cars are displayed on the walls.

They are particularly proud of this huge Glasgow built locomotive that was brought back from South Africa, the recovery was shown as a television programme.

The Clyde having been a major shipbuilding river means that there are dozens of models from the shipyards.

Some former Glasgow Corporation trams:

A Hillman Imp, built 3 miles from my house.

Douglas speedway bike.

And this is just silly, a Honda CBX 1000 based custom.

Back in the 50s and 60s, if you received a telegram, it was delivered on a BSA Bantam.

A view from the balcony.

This is just a flavour of the museum. I took over 50 photographs and that was only of a fraction of the exhibits. Well worth a visit if you're ever in Glasgow, and best of all, it's FREE! They just ask for a voluntary £1 donation. Even car parking is only £1 for 4 hours, and motorbikes park for free.
As for my 'Friday bike', I bought this in the museum shop for £9.99:

A Chinese made clockwork outfit. The box says 'This is not a toy' but I regard this as a 'proper' toy as it's dangerous! The edges are quite sharp, so a child would quickly learn that sharp things can cut you! That's what I call 'educational'. Kids these days, far too soft!!!


  1. Looks good. I was going to go last weekend but got sidetracked. Will probably go in the next few weeks.
    Inside it looks a bit like the Barber Museum in Alabama.

  2. It does remind me of pics I've seen of the Barber Museum. It's funny but I would probably prefer the "shed mess" (talking about The NMM) that was being brought up at the "Vintagent" site. I like to get up close, and get close looks.Of course now that I have glasses finally, maybe that wouldn't matter as much...seriously, I wonder how much detail you could see of bikes on a wall? Looks to be a fantastic museum, covering so many aspects of transportation in one building.

  3. Still haven't managed to pop over to the new Museum yet, might have a day off and head over in the next week or so. Looks so much different from the usual Museum layout.