This museum is a relatively new museum and used to hold some very rare and irreplaceable examples of British engineering. It was originally built by public subscription and was a very popular site for other meetings and shows.
Some of the bikes had been donated to the museum and hence the nation but many were still in private hands on long term show. It's tragic that something like this could happen and decimate the best unique collection of bikes in the UK.
Heard that last evening on the 7 o'clock news as we were on the way home. My thought then was that it is going to be a huge blow to the motorcycle enthusiast in the UK and world-wide. A lot of stuff in there was unique as you say, and there will be a lot of private owners who will be looking at their insurance policies this morning.
-- Peter & Rita Forbes firstname.lastname@example.org Engine pages for preservation info:
Unfortunately insurance can't replace the lost machines. A sad tale which we should all learn from. Do we all have fire protection in our workshops etc? I have no doubt that the museum had a fire detection system but probably no automatic fire fighting equipment. Apart from the obvious sadness, I wonder what caused the fire. After all, most machines are made of metal which doesn't burn easily. Here we can all learn and keep flammable stuff like petrol, paint, oils, etc out of the workshop and in a place where they would not cause too much damage if a fire occurred. This is a standard precaution in industry which we would do well to adopt at home.
I used to go regularly when it was being built. From what I remember the roof contained a large quantity of timber, the trusses were close together and the roof was tall and wide. From the news this morning they are saying the fire spread through the roof very rapidly and extra fire crews were prevented from reaching the building quickly because of heavy traffic. The
Spoke to my father this morning who lives in that area so caught it on the local news. The fire was reportedly started in some air conditioning filters which had been stacked up outside the building against the wall. The suspicion was that a cigarette set these on fire. The fire then spread into the building.
I was more thinking about people who had bikes on loan than the replacement side of it, but agree with what you replied with.
Our factory insurers are so picky about alarms and the like, plus we have fire extinguisher inspections annually etc etc., why did the museum not have all this in place ? I can't see the insurers putting them on cover if there wasn't sufficient equipment available, unless they carried that risk themselves?
Museums are difficult places to insure, probably a lot worse now than
30 years ago.
Peter Forbes Prepair Ltd Luton, UK email: email@example.com home: firstname.lastname@example.org
My girlfriend was annoyed with me when I got all upset about the Columbia space shuttle breakup.
I said that the astronauts knew the risks, and there was no shortage of others who would (still!) gladly face those risks to go into space (like me :-) - while there's no way anyone's going to build any more space shuttles for some time.
She, uh, suggested I had my heart in the wrong place...
Yes, I saw the longer report and whilst it's going to be a lot of work, I'd imagine the great majority could be restored - one assumes they were adequately insured and that they will have a nice, new workshop to do it in!
Many irreplaceable machines will have been damaged in the fire, but, where possible, they will be restored once again to their original showroom condition. To this end we shall be appealing for many scarce components and parts which will be needed. Details will be posted to this web site shortly.
The Museum has received countless messages of support and offers of assistance. We are grateful to everybody, and undertake to do our utmost to restore the greatest collection of British motorcycles back to its former glory.