The East Anglia Transport Museum at Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft, has been successful in its goal of obtaining additional land adjacent to the museum site. This has virtually doubled the amount of land available to the museum and is therefore potentially a very exciting development for its future.
The newly acquired land totals over 5 acres which is obviously a massive boost to a small but impressive museum such as this. The cost of purchase was largely funded by a bequest. Early work will entail making the property secure by erecting suitable fencing around it which was a condition of the sale, albeit one that the museum had intended to prioritise anyway. It is also planned to plant some trees around the perimeter and various surveys to assess the environmental impact of future building works will be needed.
Changes and improvements to the museum are likely to take many years, as indeed it has taken some four decades for the site we know as the museum today to become what it is now – but for a volunteer-run organisation with limited financial resources this is completely understandable. However, for said organisation to have such foresight and ambition is very impressive indeed and we offer our congratulations to all involved in the land purchase. Naturally no firm plans exist as yet for how the extra space will ultimately be utilised, although accommodating various objects which are not housed on site at present and making them accessible to the public is likely to be high up on the agenda. Looking further ahead, more depots could well lead to more vehicles being acquired so perhaps we may see an enlarged tram fleet at Carlton Colville? Visitors often express a desire for longer vehicle rides although any such plans are likely to concentrate on the trolleybuses rather than trams, understandable due to the lack of track needed! A new sub-committee will be formed to help take the museum forward, and EATMS members have been invited to attend a future meeting to discuss ideas for future development. All in all, very exciting times for this much underrated museum which is definitely going to be one to keep an eye on in the years ahead!