ISTR some time ago in SEM a flurry of correspondence regarding the folly of bequeathing ones goodies to museums - particularly local council run ones - in the belief that they would then be made available in perpetuity for the edification of others. Well, as a case in point, the London Borough of Hillingdon is preparing to dispose of the bulk of its collection of agricultural bygones which includes a number of engines and tractors.
This decision was apparently taken by a single councillor under something called 'delegated powers' (don't ask me what it means) and seems primarily intended to reduce the rateable value of the building in which it is housed by changing its use from storage/educational to agricultural. The collection is seen as of no educational value as the only area of agriculture which is currently on the curriculum is the environmental/stewardship-of-the-countryside aspect, history definitely doesn't feature.
The Northolt Historic Engine Club has a long association with the collection, members being responsible for getting many of the engines and tractors into running condition in the dim distant past and even demonstrating them on farm open days (none since F&M). In return we have been allowed to use the building for meetings and the occasional crank-up, though the arrangement never seems to have been formalised. Hopefully there will still be a little corner where we can have a cup of tea and a natter each month.