A team from Nottingham-based construction company J Tomlinson joined guests at Coventry Transport Museum for the official opening of the all-new permanent World Land Speed Record Exhibition.
J Tomlinson is the contractor for part of the £8.5 million redevelopment of the museum, which got underway in April last year and is due to be completed by Summer 2015, when 12 of the museum’s 14 galleries will have been transformed.
The Biffa Award Land Speed Record Exhibition is one of the first parts of the redevelopment project to be completed, and forms a stunning new home for the current 763mph land speed record holding car Thrust SSC, along with its predecessor Thrust 2. Towards the end of last year, J Tomlinson was in the driving seat when the cars were delicately relocated from their previous home in the museum to the new exhibition gallery – a move that involved hoisting the supersonic cars over the rear gates of the museum.
The new exhibition was officially opened by ‘World’s Fastest Man’ Andy Green, who drove ThrustSSC to its 763mph world record in 1997 – a record that still stands today.
Martin Gallagher, Construction Managing Director at J Tomlinson, said: “It was great to be at the official opening of such a fine exhibition gallery, and J Tomlinson is delighted and proud to have been involved in this scheme at Coventry Transport Museum.”
The company, which is based in Lilac Grove, Beeston, and operates mainly throughout the East and West Midlands, provides a range of services including construction, refurbishment, repairs and maintenance, mechanical and electrical engineering, energy efficiency, fit out and facilities management. The firm’s work at Coventry Transport Museum includes building two new extensions and structural and internal alterations, as well as external modifications.
Gary Hall, Chief Executive of Culture Coventry, the trust that runs Coventry Transport Museum said of the new exhibition: “Coventry Transport Museum has been home to the world’s two fastest cars Thrust SSC and Thrust 2 for many years now, and these seriously mind-blowing vehicles have attracted millions of visitors to Coventry throughout their time at the museum. We are now absolutely thrilled to have been able to give them a fitting new home in a dazzling exhibition – it has been specially designed and built to show off the vehicles, and to tell the amazing stories of the land speed record pioneers who dared to bring their engineering dreams to life.
“When designing the new exhibition we have also made sure that there is the perfect space for Bloodhound – when Richard Noble’s 1000mph car becomes the world’s fastest car in 2016, we would dearly love to offer it a home alongside its ancestors. For the moment though, we are delighted to have a full-scale Bloodhound model in place for the next few weeks, after which it will be replaced by an equally impressive life-sized K’NEX model of the vehicle.”
The new exhibition has been generously supported by Biffa Award, a multi-million pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to community and environmental projects across the UK. The programme administers money donated by Biffa Group Limited, through the Landfill Communities Fund.
The Transport Museum redevelopment is also funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, Arts Council England and WREN.