Anyone travelling in the area of East Lothian between Haddington, North Berwick and Aberlady will probably have noticed road signs to the Myreton Motor Museum. If you following the signs you end up at what look like a series of sheds beside a very minor road roughly a mile and a half east of Aberlady and a mile and a half west of Drem.
Myreton Motor Museum is one of the oldest motor transport museums in the UK. It first opened its doors in August 1966, and resides in a complex of display rooms next to the farm of the founder, the late Willie Dale. The car park is around the rear of the complex and entry is from the car park.
Once inside you find yourself in the first of a number of display rooms that have the look and feel of workshops: completely appropriate for the display of their superbly restored and maintained contents. The walls of the display rooms are lined with advertising signs, pictures, and other memorabilia: while old signposts, road signs, and other artefacts of more than a century of motoring fill the available space.
There are over 30 cars and other vehicles on display, plus, when we last visited, a large collection of motorcycles, old and new, were on loan to the museum. Overall around half of the vehicles are owned by the Dale family, the rest on loan to a home that provides care and attention, and makes them available to public view.
The exhibits cover all eras of motoring. The oldest is a 1899 General Electric that looks more like a carriage short of a horse than an electric car. It drove into the museum under its own power in 1994.
Those with an interest in Scotland will be drawn to the 1919 Ford Model TT (a beefed up Model T Ford designed for commercial use) that has been fitted with a 14 seat charabanc (open bus) body. This was used to carry passengers from Lochgilphead to the Crinan Canal in Argyll. All the exhibits have helpful information panels to tell you what you are looking at, and the charabanc's reveals that it could reach 25mph. What its stopping distance was from that speed with a full load of passengers is not revealed. This vehicle's story is typical of many in the museum. It was put away in a barn in 1930, only being found after the roof of the barn collapsed in 1962. It has since been lovingly restored to what you see today.
Another fascinating story concerns "Wee Blackie", a 1961 Morris Minor Deluxe Saloon. This was owned by Eddie Anderson of Paisley for 22 years until his death in 2001, and it won him many prizes at vehicles shows. The car has been loaned to the museum by Eddie's widow and is displayed with its bonnet up to show off its utterly pristine engine compartment. To modern eyes the most surprising thing is just how small the engine seems, almost lost within the compartment.
Elsewhere you find interesting companions. In one room a BMW Bubble Car, the sort of vehicle that doesn't quite fit the image the company has carved out for it in more recent years, sits alongside a Trishaw from Singapore. Other displays range from a large collection of children's cars housed above the entrance area, though a range of petrol pump heads, to collections of spark plugs and oil cans.
Anyone with an interest in cars or an ounce of nostalgia will find a visit to the Myreton Motor Museum absolutely fascinating.