Start your engines! Fans of Bermuda’s vintage transportation are in for a treat when the Bermuda Transport Museum re-opens in a new location at the Royal Naval Dockyard next Saturday, October 21.
An array of vintage motorcycles, cars and boats will be on show in the museum’s new premises inside the magnificent former “Chicane” building on Smithery Lane at the entrance to Dockyard. The 6,500-square-foot space displays restored Mobylette, Zundapp, Cyrus, Triumph, Honda, Yamaha, James, Sun, Moton and Bown motorcycles, and many more vehicles from Bermuda’s past, with intriguing accessories and other items.
Formerly the Vintage Transportation Museum, the new centre is the brainchild of life-long collector and transport enthusiast Paul Martins, 50, and business partner Luciano “Channel” Aicardi. They moved the operation from smaller quarters inside Hamilton’s Bermudiana Arcade, Queen Street, when the Dockyard space became available this year. Local design company Brimstone Media is developing the exhibits.
“This is a fabulous space and we’re really excited to show off the first of our collections,” said Bermudian Martins, who owns Martins Precision Automotive in Pembroke. “Many of these bikes, in particular, bring back vivid memories for a lot of Bermudians. Among the older ones, who doesn’t remember their first Mobylette or Zundapp? And the youngsters will get a thrill from seeing all the old seat-of-the-pants bikes we have on show.”
The museum will celebrate its opening next Saturday 10am–4pm; admission is $5. More exhibits and displays will be installed over the next several months, but Martins decided to open the building early to allow the public a glimpse of what is already on show, as well as what is to come. Accordingly, the museum opens with reduced ticket prices each Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10am–4pm, over the winter.
Future plans include a full mechanics workshop within the building, where visitors can watch vehicle restoration in action; “live” displays; a children’s section; and a raised entertainment area. As well as expanding current exhibits, there will be a collection of boats on show, as well as Seagull engines and other marine paraphernalia.
“The museum is still being developed,” said Martins, “but we thought the public would like an early look at what we already have. We’re hoping to make it a very busy hub in future, with engines running and live displays and all sorts of events.”
West End Development Corporation (WEDCo) Business Development Manager Joanna Cranfield said: “After the Chicane building was refurbished, we wanted a use that was in keeping with its historic nature, but which would add another quality attraction to the Royal Naval Dockyard. We approached Paul to see if he would be interested in taking on the building to showcase his stunning collection of bikes and cars and we are delighted it has all come together. We think this is an excellent addition and hope our visitors will be as happy with it as we are.”
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Facebook: Bermuda Transport Museum (@transport bda)