The Riverside Museum is the current location of the Glasgow Museum of Transport, at Pointhouse Quay in the Glasgow Harbour regeneration district of Glasgow, Scotland. The building opened in June 2011. On 18 May 2013, the museum was announced as the Winner of the 2013 European Museum of the Year Award. The Riverside Museum building was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and engineers Buro Happold. The internal exhibitions and displays were designed by Event Communications. The purpose-built Museum replaced the previous home for the city's transport collection, at the city's Kelvin Hall, and was the first museum to be opened in the city since the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art in 1993. The location of the museum is on the site of the former A. & J. Inglis Shipyard within Glasgow Harbour, on the north bank of the River Clyde and adjacent to its confluence point with the River Kelvin. This site enabled the Clyde Maritime Trust's SV Glenlee and other visiting craft to berth alongside the museum.
The Museum of Transport was first established in 1964. Created in the wake of the closure of Glasgow's tramway system in 1962, it was initially located at the former Coplawhill tram depot on Albert Drive in Pollokshields, before moving to the Kelvin Hall. The old building was subsequently converted into the Tramway arts centre. The museum was then situated inside the Kelvin Hall opposite the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in the West End of Glasgow. The Kelvin Hall was built in 1927, originally as an exhibition centre, but was converted in 1987 to house the Museum of Transport and the Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena. The Kelvin Hall site itself closed in April 2010, with the Museum moving to its third home at the new Riverside Museum in 2011. Riverside is home to some of the world’s finest cars, bicycles, ship models, trams and locomotives. Interactive displays and the hugely popular historic Glasgow street scene bring the objects and stories to life.
In the old Museum of Transport, the collections were largely arranged by type of object – cars, motorbikes, bicycles, ship models etc. Although this is useful for comparing one type of object with another it can limit the type of interpretation they can provide for visitors. For example a display on transport design or vehicles used for sport or those made in Scotland would feature more than one type of transport. In the new museum they use a mix of displaying objects by type and also as part of a theme. There are 9 main themes within the new museum. These are: 1. Streets; Individuals, organisations and transport innovations have shaped Glasgow’s streets and how they were used. • Street 1 - 1895-1930 • Street 2 - 1930s-1960s • Street 3 - 1960s-1980s 2. The River Clyde Over the centuries, changes to the River Clyde have reflected developments in Glasgow as it grew to become a major port and industrial city. 3. TranSport & Leisure People use transport for leisure, sport or to escape the City. 4. Made in Scotland People in Scotland applied their skills and ideas ingenuity to transport used throughout Britain and the world. 5. Looks & Fashion People's tastes, styles and desires have affected the way transport is designed. 6. Crossing the World Transport linked Glasgow with ports and cities all over the world. 7. Cutting Edge- Past, Present & Future People's Desire to travel further, faster, higher or safer has pushed horizon’s. 8. Disasters & Crashes Transport failure whether by accident or intent, has affected people's lives and the way transport is designed, built and used. 9. Getting There The ups, downs and obstacles people experience travelling around Glasgow and Scotland.
Within these themes there are over 150 separate in-depth ‘story displays’. The theme title appears on the interpretation panels of the individual story displays. The souvenir guide is also organized according to these themes. Except for the streets, the stories in one theme do not appear in the same area of the museum. Why? This is because large objects such as locomotives and trams may have more than one story and feature in more than one theme. Also, museum objects can be interpreted in different ways, for example the ‘Comet’ steam engine on display could feature in the theme ‘The River Clyde’ or ‘Made in Scotland’ or ‘Getting there’ or ‘Cutting Edge – Past Present and Future’ or ‘Disaster and Crashes’ and if the themes were all physically in one place then to change the interpretation would mean moving the object – not always an easy task with large objects. Instead at the Riverside Museum the museum objects and story displays are arranged for practical and aesthetic reasons so that they can more easily change the interpretation or change the displays entirely without disrupting a wider theme narrative.
The Tall Ship offers maritime themed events and activities, with specially devised talks and tours, school visits and costumed volunteer days. Explore every nook and cranny of the Glenlee, including the refurbished Captain’s cabin, with their brand new audio guide facility, a fun way to learn the history of the ship. Visit the mini cinema and under 5’s play area in the cargo hold, take part in their mouse hunt and put your questions to their working ship’s crew. They also have a souvenir gift shop and coffee shop on board. The Glenlee was built at the Bay Yard in Port Glasgow and was one of a group of 10 steel sailing vessels built to a standard design for the Glasgow shipping firm of Archibald Sterling and Co. Ltd. She is a three masted barque, with length 245 feet, beam 37.5 feet, depth 22.5 feet and air draft 137' 6". The Glenlee first took to the water as a bulk cargo carrier in 1896. She circumnavigated the globe four times and survived (though not without incident!) passing through the fearsome storms of Cape Horn 15 times before being bought by the Spanish navy in 1922 and being turned into a sail training vessel. The ship was modified and served in that role until 1969. She then operated as a training school until 1981 when she was laid up in Seville Harbour and largely forgotten. A British naval architect saw her in Seville in 1990 and two years later, the Clyde Maritime Trust succeeded in buying the re-named Galatea at auction for 5 million Pesetas (£40,000) and saved her from dereliction. The Glenlee is one of only 5 Clydebuilt sailing ships that remain afloat in the world and she was restored over a six year period by the Clyde Maritime Trust’s paid and voluntary crew.
One of the many fascinating and inspiring displays features 'The Adventurers. Five modern Scots. Six epic journeys. A total of 69,399 miles travelled. Meet the five modern adventurers, and learn more about their epic journeys! Ewan MacGregor. "A holiday doesn’t have to be lying on the beach – it can be exploration and adventure. [I’m used to] taking motorcycle trips after movies as a way to get out on my own, to get back to making my own decisions." After some serious off-road test-driving, Ewan and Charley Boorman selected BMW Enduro R1150 Adventures for their round-the-world trip - Long Way Round - in 2004, which would see them ride 22,345 miles, through 12 different countries in 115 days! There is a personal message on the BMW's fuel tank from Ewan: "I love this bike. She took me around the world and introduced me to the most beautiful people. Take care of her".
Karen Darke. "I wanted to feel close again to the beauty and freedom of rugged, natural places... I realised that paralysis hadn't excluded me from the wilderness. The only threat to my freedom had been in my mind." After a devastating fall off a sea-cliff in Aberdeenshire, Karen refused to let paralysis prevent her from continuing her life-long passion for the outdoors. Her sheer vitality, determination and her Australian-imported tandem enabled her to handcycle 922 miles from Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan in 1997. An incredible feat.
Mark Beaumont. "While publicly I may be regarded as a cyclist, full stop, my main idea has always been to find journeys that haven’t been tried or certainly haven’t been documented. Great endurance journeys give us a unique chance to explore the world and to learn about ourselves." Mark's Koga Signature bike was fully customised for his requirements for the long ride from Anchorage in Alaska to Ushuaia in Argentina. Mark's expedition started on 26 May 2009. Even though Mark had high-tech equipment, laptop and satellite phone, he still used old-fashioned road maps like the one of British Columbia. On the inside he has drawn his route with a highlighter pen, and made notes of good camp sites, B&Bs and their rates - this one also indicates on the map where he has to get to for an interview with BBC Breakfast! This notebook of Mark's - the cover of which has been doodled by his sister - contains the most essential of information for a trip of this nature, all handwritten. From First Aid and Embassies advice to medical supplies being carried and some vital health-related phrases in Spanish, including 'me siento mareado' ['I feel dizzy']. By the end of the journey - 18 February 2010 - Mark had travelled for 268 days, covering a distance of 13,080 miles.
Kate Rawles. "On good days, philosophy, like cycling, also transforms the ordinary. It questions all sorts of things typically taken for granted, bringing normal life sharply back into focus – albeit through a strange lens." Kate appropriately named her Alves bike 'Rocky' - after, all her cycle was to follow the spine of the Rocky Mountains from New Mexico to Alaska. The project was in fact dubbed the Carbon Cycle since Kate - as an outdoors philosopher - wanted to explore throughout her epic journey people's opinions of climate change in today's world. By the end of the Carbon Cycle, Kate and her bike - built in Scotland by Charlie Ralph - had travelled 4,553 miles in 85 days, reaching Anchorage on 11 September 2006 - just in time to catch the last ferry!
"Everyone was happy, smiling and welcoming. Some called ‘Habari Safari?’ (How’s the journey?), ‘Nzuri Baridi!’ (Very cold!) and they laughed… being on bicycles made us acceptable to the villagers; they were used to aid workers zipping by in fancy cars, often without taking their eyes off the road." It took Andy about a year to plan this three-southern-continents cycle ride from Sydney to Valparaiso. Although he and his companion Tim Garratt would be unsupported during the trip, they managed to receive donations from companies like Saracen of Birmingham who provided Saracen Limited Edition mountain bikes which survived the epic journey save the odd tyre. There is Andy's map of Argentina from very nearly the last leg of the journey on display. If you look closely you can see where Andy has written the distance between different points on the roads as well as crucial reminders: 'V. BAD ROAD' and 'V. BAD DIRT'. Elsewhere on this map he has marked when a road has been impassable - yet another challenge for life on the road. Andy and Tim made it to their last stop, Valparaiso in Chile, on 10 August 1992. They had achieved their goal to travel unsupported through Australia, Africa and South America in exactly one day less than a year. It was a world first!
In addition there is plenty of information and artefacts from some historic adventurers. David Livingstone. From humble beginnings to national hero, David Livingstone began his working-life in a cotton mill, where he scrimped and saved to study medicine and divinity, before becoming a missionary in Africa. He had a vision to end the slave trade and to open up Africa to Christianity and lawful commerce. He was the first European to cross the African continent from west to east. Whilst he made few converts to Christianity, his success as an explorer and his work as an abolitionist secured for him a lasting reputation. There is a half-hull model of the Lady Nyassa, a passenger-exploratory steamship built in 1861 by Tod & McGregor, Glasgow, for Dr David Livingstone. Shallow-draft iron steamship built in sections for exploring the Zambesi and Shire rivers and Lake Nyassa. This builder’s design model is 1:48 scale and was donated by D. & W. Henderson in 1962. David Livingstone's map, bible and telescope from the time of his many African explorations are on display at St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, and are kindly on loan from National Trust for Scotland. The consular cap, on display, was worn by David Livingstone at Ujiji, 1871. This style of cap, worn by officers in the Navy, was favoured by Livingstone as best protection from the sun. This is believed to be the one he doffed at his famous meeting with Henry Morton Stanley when Stanley said the immortal words ‘Dr Livingstone I presume?’
Marion Scott Stevenson (1871 - 1930). ‘The Angel of Africa’ who worked in Kenya from 1907 to 1926 with the Church of Scotland Mission amongst the Kikuyu people. Marion decided to work out in the bush alongside the women. Over 19 years she developed strong personal friendships with many Kikuyu villagers. Although she found the life and culture alien and strange at first, Marion soon adapted and she developed a deep respect for the Kikuyu people and their culture reflected in the very personal nature of the collection. Her brother passed on the collections that she brought back to Glasgow on her furloughs in 1910, 1912, 1916, and 1924. A large part of the collection consists of personal gifts from Kikuyu friends who called her Bibi. The collection is housed in Glasgow Museums Resource Centre and can be viewed on request or seen on the public tours.
Annie Royle Taylor (1855 - 1922). An English explorer and missionary to China who was the first Western woman to visit Tibet, along the way encountering no end of challenges - bandits who stole their horses and threat of murder… She collected myriad objects from her expeditions which form part of Glasgow's World Cultures collection which are housed in Glasgow Museums Resource Centre and can be viewed on request or seen on the public tours. Amongst the eclectic collection is a tea bag made of hide with smaller bags attached for salt and soda. This is from a collection of ethnographical objects from Tibet collected by Annie Royle Taylor. Mrs. Beatrice Heywood. We know very little about this woman who donated 53 objects to Glasgow Museums from her travels around the world before 1933. We do know this, however: she took over the firm, Bruges & Evans - Suppliers of Oil and Petrol and other motor supplies - at the Boulevard, Duntocher, Glasgow as the sole remaining Partner and in her own account on 12 September 1932.
Other displays, in the constant rotation of ephemera, are : -The Fourpence Ha'penny Crew. The five Penny brothers raced for the Clyde Amateur Rowing Club in the late 1920s and early 1930s. In 1932, the four elder boys - Tom, Laurie, Sandy and Bill - took on their ten year old brother Jimmy as their cox and because of their surname, they became known as the "Fourpence Ha'Penny Crew". In 2013, Tom Penny's son donated his father's rowing shirt and collection of cups and medals to the City of Glasgow and you can now see these in this fascinating display, which also tells the story of the brothers and the many prizes they won in rowing as pairs and fours. The Perfect Wheelchair. This display was co-curated with wheelchair users and includes a child's wheelchair, a sport wheelchair, a pioneering Mekong design and a chair typical of those used by WW1 veterans. Wheelchair users tell some amazing stories of adventure and discuss the highs and lows of using a wheelchair.
Razzle Dazzle - Radical Camouflage. This display about the bizarrely-painted Allied ships of World War I features two new and rarely seen design schemes from 1917 on loan from the Imperial War Museum. See with your own eyes how they compare with other camouflage objects on display including dazzle-painted ships and patterned beetles and butterflies. Next Stop Glasgow: Stories of Asian Immigration and Work on the Buses. In the 1950s Glasgow needed bus drivers! Some people who applied were immigrants from India and Pakistan. Find out about their amazing personal stories of coming to and working in Glasgow, in this new film display. Song of the Clyde Show. Generations of Glaswegians have enjoyed a summer trip on the River Clyde on boats big and small. See 60 years of sunshine and showers in their new large scale film. Motorbike wall. Their Motorbike Wall currently features a fine example of Italian design in the form of the iconic Lambretta LD 150 from 1956, which belongs to Alex Kapranos, frontman of Glasgow band Franz Ferdinand. This slick scooter rubs shoulders with other Italian classics in the collection such as the Ducati 916 and Vespa Model 152L2.
The Story of Lusitania. RMS Lusitania was built in 1906 by John Brown & Co. Ltd shipyard in Clydebank. In 1899 John Brown & Co Ltd, a Sheffield steel maker, took over the running of a ship yard in Clydebank. Just before the RMS Lusitania was built for the British Cunard Steamship Company Ltd, American financier and multi-millionaire, J.P Morgan had bought into the shipping market in the North Atlantic by acquiring the British company, White Star Line. He was in fierce competition with companies from Europe – mainly French and German – and with the British company, Cunard. Unable to provide the financial resources required to commission new, fast ships for the transatlantic trade and fearing being bought out bought by the Americans, the Chairman of Cunard, Lord Inverclyde, negotiated a loan of over £2 million from the British Government. A deal was signed in June 1903 for two new ships to be built to Admiralty specifications so that they could be used in times of war. One of these ships was the passenger liner Lusitania. Lusitania was launched in Clydebank at 12.30pm on June 7th 1906 amid great celebration and a ceremonial christening led by the wife of the late Lord Inverclyde, Mary, Lady Inverclyde. Thousands of spectators turned out to see Lusitania slide into the Clyde before she was moved on to Gourock for her funnels, superstructure and interior to be completed. On her sea trials Lusitania achieved a record breaking speed of 26.7 knots. The RMS Lusitania was ready to begin her career, sailing out of her home port of Liverpool.
On 7th September 1907 Lusitania completed her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York. During her impressive but tragically short career, the Lusitania made 202 crossings from Liverpool to New York and was the first ship to cross the Atlantic in under five days. Billed as ‘the largest and fastest steamer now in the Atlantic service’ she could outpace any ship. A First Class or Saloon ticket would have cost you in the region of $142 - $380. Despite the commitment in her funding arrangements it was decided that the Lusitania would remain in commercial use at the outbreak of World War One, in July 1914. In 1915 the liner was under command of well-respected Captain W. T Turner. Tragedy struck on the 7th May 1915. As she sailed close to the Irish Coast on her return to Liverpool, Lusitania was struck just under her bridge by a single torpedo from a German U-Boat. Shortly after impact a second explosion was heard. It only took 18 minutes for the enormous Lusitania to sink. The speed and angle of the ship after impact made launching lifeboats on the port side impossible. At the time very little was understood about torpedo avoidance techniques and the damage inflicted on the ship was considerable. Despite desperate efforts of Captain W.T Turner and his crew, 1,198 people out of a total of 1,959 on board the Lusitania lost their lives. Captain Turner remained at his post whilst the ship sank. He survived and he was not blamed for the tragedy. The British public was shocked. The tragedy fuelled anti-German campaigns and increased troop recruitment numbers in Britain. With a substantial loss also of American lives, the sinking was a factor in America joining the War, albeit two years later. A warning issued by the German Embassy in America that all ships were a target if they sailed into the ‘European War Zone’ was largely ignored. As the Lusitania was thought to be of no military value, many passengers believed it was not a realistic target. Many famous and rich passengers were on board, reinforcing the confidence and feeling of safety for many passengers. The tragedy gave rise to many conspiracy theories. At the time, the exact facts of the disaster were distorted due to wartime secrecy and the desire to fuel anti-German propaganda. The source of such conspiracy theories was based on the fact that only one torpedo made impact with the ship whereas there had been two explosions. It has been argued for years that Lusitania had been carrying small arms munitions, which would make the ship a legitimate target for the Germans. The wreck lies on her starboard side off the Irish coast at Kinsale. After one hundred years in the sea - and being used as a target practice by the Royal Navy - the wreck is in a terrible condition. During one of the many diving expeditions to the wreck four million bullets were discovered in the ship’s forward cargo hold. After years of British and American officials denying that the Lusitania was carrying weapons of war, a long-standing mystery had been solved, finally.
The museum houses the oldest surviving pedal cycle and the world's leading collection of Scottish-built cars and trucks, including pioneering examples from Scottish manufacturers Argyll, Arrol-Johnston and Albion. More modern Scottish-built cars, namely the Rootes Group's Hillman Imp, Chrysler Avenger and Chrysler Sunbeam are represented too along with many other motorcars. All forms of transport are featured, from horse-drawn vehicles to fire engines, from motorcycles to caravans, even toy cars and prams.There is a display of some 250 ship models, representing the contribution of the River Clyde and its shipbuilders and engineers to maritime trade and the Royal Navy, including the Comet of 1812, the Hood, the Howe, the Queen Mary, and the Queen Elizabeth and the QE2. Locomotive manufacture was also an important Glasgow industry and the museum celebrates the city's railway heritage, including locomotives such as: The Caledonian Railway - Caley No. 123 single driver Highland Railway - No. 103, the Jones Goods Great North of Scotland Railway - Gordon Highlander No. 49 Glasgow and South Western Railway - 5 Class 0-6-0T no. 9 Andrew Barclay 0-6-0 Fireless locomotive, South of Scotland Electricity Board, No. 1 First ScotRail - Class 380 EMU (full-scale model). Other main exhibits displayed the evolution of Glasgow's public transport system and included seven Glasgow Corporation Tramways tramcars from different eras, Glasgow Corporation Trolleybuses, and the reconstruction of "Kelvin Street", which aimed to recapture the atmosphere of 1930s Glasgow, including full-scale replicas of a pre-1977 Glasgow Subway station and the Regal Cinema, which played Scottish transport documentaries such as Seawards the Great Ships.
At Riverside they have large (32 & 42 inch) electronic touch-screens (E-intros) beside all large displays & objects. These touch-screens have further information and include photographs, films and images. Many images can be enlarged. Each electronic introduction has text in different languages and many include BSL as one of these languages. There is an introductory video to Riverside Museum in BSL and International Sign Language here as well as available to view on arrival at the Museum. Two displays at Riverside Museum have audio description. These displays are called ‘Showman’s Caravan’ and ‘Le Rendevous Café’. Please ask at the enquiry desk for directions. The majority of audio visual interpretation and films at Riverside are subtitled and they are working toward subtitling all films. Guide and Assistance dogs are welcome in Riverside Museum, and dog bowls and water are available. Please contact a member of staff. There are two lifts that take visitors from between the lower ground floor and first floor. There are 2 entrances to Riverside Museum and both have level access to the building for wheelchair users. Accessible toilets with accessible sinks are available on each floor, with an adult changing table in the accessible toilet on the lower level. All floors are accessible by lift. Riverside Museum is fully accessible to wheelchair users and allows for wheelchair access between displays. Riverside Museum is fully wheelchair accessible. All displays and interactives are at an accessible height for wheelchair users. Wheelchairs are available at Reception for visitors to use.
The Cafe at Riverside Museum is on the ground floor with magnificent views overlooking the River Clyde and The Tall Ship. During milder weather, visitors can enjoy snacks and meals outside on the terrace. Hot and cold breakfasts are available late morning Monday to Thursday and Saturday, with sandwiches, pastries and cakes available daily between noon and closing. The main lunch menu is served from midday until 3pm, offering soups, savouries and salads, as well as more filling hot food options and a delicious selection of puddings. The café offers a children’s menu to ensure the whole family are catered for. Baby bottle warming facilities are also available - please ask their staff for assistance. The Coffee Stop can be found on the first floor, again overlooking the River Clyde. It's a great place to take a short break during your visit. Choose from teas, coffees, soft drinks and a wide selection of sandwiches, snacks and cakes while you enjoy the view. A FREE ‘on demand’ ferry service links the Riverside Museum and Govan/Govan Stones at the Old Govan Church during the summer months.
Location : Riverside Museum, 100 Pointhouse Place, Glasgow, G3 8RS
Transport: Partick (National Rail) then 10 minutes. Subway : Partick then 10 minutes. Bus Routes : Citybus 100 Riversider stops outside. Ferry : see above.
Opening Times : Daily, 10:00 to 17:00; Fridays and Sundays opens at 11:00
Tickets : Free
Tel. : 0141 287 2720