I’m delighted to say that I’ve been getting out and about more, and feel as if I’ve shaken off some of the COVID anxiety which made its presence felt over the winter. I’m sure I was not alone.
Before I tell you about my latest day out, I need to give a quick refresh of my blogs to Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre, (No 17) published in March 2019. In that blog I reminisced about growing up in a family business, with motor mechanics at its heart. I also wrote about my father’s passion for refurbishing vintage motor vehicles, and highlighted the 1935 Lagonda Rapide Open Tourer which was lovingly brought back into service in his spare time. After the owner's death, the car was donated to the (then) Glasgow Museum of Transport at the Kelvin Hall.
In 2011 the Museum moved to its new location at the Riverside Museum building at Glasgow Harbour. The Riverside Museum houses the city’s transport and technology collections, which have been gathered over the centuries, and reflect the important part Glasgow has played in the world through its contributions to heavy industries like shipbuilding, train manufacturing and engineering.
The museum was designed by internationally renowned architect, Dame Zaha Hadid, and has over 3,000 objects from the city's world-famous collections displayed inside.
"The Riverside Museum is a fantastic project where the exhibits and building come together at this prominent and historic location on the Clyde waterfront. The complex geometries of the extruded design continue Glasgow’s rich engineering traditions and will be a part of the city’s future as a centre of innovation."
Dame Zaha Hadid (1950-2016)
So, now that I have set the scene and you have made the link, it was with a great sense of pride and family connectedness that grandparents, auntie and mum made a family trip to the Riverside Museum a couple of weeks ago. We were able to introduce our grandson, Fraser, to the delights of vehicles of all shapes and sizes and a range of interactive displays and child-friendly activities.
Of course, we also had a photo-opp alongside the Lagonda and I purchased postcards and fridge magnets with its image from the museum shop. I had forgotten that the Lagonda is displayed on the “Rest and Be Thankful” platform near the museum entrance, where an old black and white TV runs a short video of the construction of the infamous Rest and Be Thankful road. This is the only road route to Fraser’s home in mid Argyll, so he travels it regularly. This made another nice family connection.
Complementing the vehicles there are a number of clever additions, including a very authentic cobbled street with a variety of shops, as well as a subway station complete with subway carriage and the faint lingering odour of cigarette smoke. The attention to detail is superb, and I’m sure it would take several visits to fully absorb the experience, even without a boisterous three-year-old!
There is also a baby shop – where I was slightly disconcerted to see a large Silver Cross pram on display which was identical to the one I had used for my daughters when they were babies. They both found this very amusing.
A large display case of toys including some Barbie, Sindy and Tressie dolls transported me back in time, and I could actually feel myself sitting in my friend’s bedroom brushing the dolls’ hair, and experimenting with different outfits for various occasions. That was only yesterday, wasn't it?
“Cherish all your happy moments: they make a fine cushion for old age."
Fraser was drawn to the toy shop and its overhead train set, and he was fascinated by the interactive tenement building display where he could watch fire erupting behind various windows.
His next destination with his mum and auntie was to a large indoor soft play centre, but for the grandparents it was back home for lunch and a rest before they returned.
Everyone enjoyed the day, and as well as reigniting old memories, it created a host of new ones, strengthening the ties between the generations. But most of all, it was great fun!
"Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one."
Take care, lead well