THIS, said the Queen Mother, possibly with a subtle gesture of acknowledgement of the distinctive surroundings, was no mere collection of obsolete or antiquated vehicles. Rather, it was slice of the social history of Glasgow, “a vivid peep show of an era in which Scotsmen played an incomparable part in the development of the greatness of Britain and the British Empire, as indeed they do today.” This was the official opening, on April 14, 1964, of the city’s Museum of Transport, in the former Coplawhill tram works in Albert Road. Nothing, the Queen Mum added, more vividly reflected the habits and way of life of our forebears than the means of transport they used. But not every exhibit harked back to the past: the very latest small motor car was represented, and this, she said, would give satisfaction to everyone in Scotland.

She toured the museum in the company of Lord Provost Peter Meldrum and the museum’s curator, Anthony S.E. Browning. At one point she tried to open the door of a Hillman Imp, but failed, as did Mr Meldrum. Mr Browning “fled for a key,” noted the Glasgow Herald.

In 1986 the transport museum, long one of Glasgow’s most popular attractions, was moved to the Kelvin Hall. But one final relocation would be on the cards; and in June 2011 its new home was opened on the waterfront, in the purpose-built, £74 million, Riverside Museum.

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