MAR 21 UPDATE: MOST MUSEUMS SHUT, BUT DRIVE-IT DAY GOES AHEAD (ALMOST) AS PLANNED
A NUMBER OF TRANSPORT MUSEUMS HAVE temporarily closed their doors; The Bugatti Trust, Coventry Transport Museum, Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum, The Aston Martin Museum, Manchester Museum of Transport, Amberley Museum, The British Commercial Vehicle Museum amongst them.
Haynes International Motor Museum is closed to the public but the Workshop and Restoration Centre remains open to customers as usual. Grampian Transport Museum has postponed this year's reopening, due to to take place March 29, until May, though it says the situation could change. Dover Transport Museum is closed and has cancelled both its special Drive-It Day event in April and the Classic Motorocycle Show on May 10. The British Motor Museum at Gaydon made the decision to close on March 19. Their website statement reads: "In these difficult times the health of our visitors and staff takes precedence and following recent Government advice in relation to COVID-19, we have made the decision to close the British Motor Museum from 5pm on Friday 20 March until further notice.
"We will continue to monitor the advice of the Government and keep you informed about when we hope to be back open for visitors via the website and social media.
"Whilst our doors will be closed for a while, our team will try and lift your spirits with regular posts on our social media channels and we will also put our creativity to use in finding new ways to fuel your imagination for when we reopen.
"You can stay in touch with us via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
"If you have purchased a ticket for the Museum, a workshop or an event please take a look below where we have tried to answer any questions you may have.
"We can’t wait to welcome you back to the Museum but for the time being, stay safe and take care.."
Lakeland Motor Museumm has now closed and their Classic Drive & Ride-In Day planned for Saturday, April 4 is obviously off. The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu also closed its doors, suspending their 'Simply' rallies and they have cancelled the Spring Beaulieu Autojumble. Linncolshire Road Transport closed cancelling events planned for April and May, with a similar story at Brooklands Museum; if you have access to online services and are currently in self-isolation, many museums have organised virtual tours of their collections - worth checking out.
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs says it still intends for this years Drive-It Day on April 26 to take place, albeit with certain caveats. Their statement reads:
"The FBHVC is committed to following the latest UK Government advice on events and public gatherings pertinent to our member clubs and as such, the following statement is in line with that advice, at time of writing, during this fast-moving situation.
"Member clubs of the FBHVC are seeking guidance from the Federation with regard to Drive it Day, scheduled for Sunday 26th April 2020.
"Many events are already postponed or cancelled and so, with such a crowded event calendar, the possibility of achieving consensus for a revised Drive it Day date later in the year will be very difficult to achieve, hence why we publicise the dates up to five years in advance.
"Therefore, Drive it Day 2020 will continue to be celebrated on Sunday 26th April. This being closest to the date in 1900 when the One Thousand Mile Trial organised by the Automobile Club started from London on April 23rd and travelled via Bristol, Birmingham, Derby, Manchester, Kendal, Carlisle, Edinburgh, Newcastle, York, Leeds, Sheffield, Lincoln, Nottingham, Leicester, Northampton and back to London in order to prove the viability of the motor car.
"Currently, UK government are advising against all non-essential social contact. Our current general guidance to car clubs, that can be found on our website at https://www.fbhvc.co.uk/news/article/coronavirus, encourages the cancellation or postponement of meets, events and gatherings of people. Furthermore, Motorsport UK have withdrawn all Certificates of Exemption required for organised runs and road events for groups of cars.
"However, there seems no reason why individual enthusiasts could not take their vehicles out for a drive on Drive it Day, waving to each other from a discrete distance, so long as that drive avoids physical social contact.
"The Federation is encouraging the use of your chosen social media platform to share images and stories for what you are doing with your historic vehicles and furthermore, if you are unable to drive them, what you might be working on within the self - isolation of your garage or shed.
"The FBHVC are asking for all enthusiasts to share pictures of what they do on Drive it Day utilising their historic vehicles in any way that is safe and sensible to do so using the hashtag #DriveitDay. Post your picture on to the FBHVC social media feeds or those of your member clubs. We will be monitoring those social feeds and public posts published with the #DriveitDay hashtag will be gathered onto a special area within the FBHVC website galleries in the future.
"We would like to stress that the more mature, or those with underlying health conditions that fall into the “high-risk” category, should not attempt to leave isolation, even for a short drive. Those able to consider a short drive on Drive it Day should plan carefully whether that journey may require interactions, such as the purchase of fuel or payment of road tolls for example and make a personal judgement on the safety of any Drive it Day journey. We strongly advise that you follow current UK Government advice and do not attend events, meets or visit public places such as pubs, restaurants or cafés on your Drive it Day journey."