Cotswolds Motoring Museum

During an idyllic trip through the Cotswolds I came to Bourton-on-the-Water. It’s as picture post card a village as you could want. The river Windrush winds right through the village adding to the atmosphere. The extra special treat for me was the Cotswold Motoring Museum.

The museum itself is a bit of a Tardis. It appears quite small and not much to look at from the outside. But it’s eight rooms are a wonderful jumble inside and every inch is used to advantage. A very good collection of vehicles (and by vehicles I mean cars, motorbikes, caravans, pedal bikes, and appropriate memorabilia). It’s all bit touchy feely too...you can actually handle many of the exhibits...and for others it seems as though you could.

Each car has an explanation (sometimes pretty funny - Flatman and Ribbon) of the significance and history of the mark and the museum example.

The accessories are on the walls, ceiling, floor even. Factoid notices are everywhere - someone took a lot of time and care to investigate and document these. All the accessories are really fascinating and I’m positive some are quite rare. Memorabilia related to the automotive story include petrol globes, tools, even a simulated garage. There was even a collection of cameras to match the time periods of the vehicles.

And then an absolute bonus for me...a super toy collection. Lots of early diecast and tin toys. And not just cars - a quite delightful group of toy ships and boats. Somewhat disappointing that these items were jumbled in display cases and not particularly well documented.

A couple of final practical comments. Not too many staff in evidence but those in the gift shop and the entrance were pleasant and helpful. They do give you a Day Ticket so you could leave for a Tea nearby and return.

The gift shop was actually pretty decent - lots of diverse product.

The walkways are quite narrow in some spots so could be an issue on a busy day.

A thing to remember - closed in the winter months.

Oh, and I can’t forget the Mini Cooper at the entrance made from a well maintained hedge!

*    *    *

John McKerracher

An almost retired Telecommunications type. And more importantly a life long Museum junkie. While I enjoy all museum experiences my real passions are with things maritime related. I have a special interest in naval developments made in the 20 years prior to the First World War.