This article needs additional citations for verification .(April 2019)
|Location||Thursford, Norfolk, England|
|Type||Steam power, entertainment and farming heritage|
The Thursford Collection is a museum located in Thursford, Norfolk. Founded by local man George Cushing, it is now known for the scale of its collection of steam engines, organs and fairground attractions, and its annual Christmas spectacular show, which draws over 100,000 people to the Norfolk countryside.
The Thursford Collection is a registered charity under English law.
George Thomas Henry Cushing MBE was born at Thursford on 25 March 1904, the son of a farm labourer. After leaving school aged 12, he became a farmhand, but had developed a childhood fascination with steam engines. In 1920 he travelled to the King's Lynn Mart, and got a job driving a steam roller. Having bought a 1913 Aveling and Porter roller from the local council with savings of £225, Cushing set up his own sub-contracting business, which had expanded to 15 steam rollers and a steam wagon by World War II.
By the late 1930s, steam was on the wane from commercial usage as diesel lorries became more popular. To Cushing, it was "as though the crown jewels were being sold for scrap", and he began to buy up redundant steam engines, storing and then restoring them at Laurel Farm, where he had worked as a child and now owned. This was also where he raised his own family of three boys with his wife Minnie.
As Cushing's collection grew, more enthusiasts travelled to Thursford to help restore and then view his collection. Thus, in the 1970s Cushing opened his museum in what was then a series of old farm sheds, and would personally tour the audience between exhibits, most often dressed in a countryman's flat cap, tweed jacket and muffler over baggy jumper, trousers and gumboots. He would then shake each visitor's hand, and ask departing guests with a blunt "Did yer loik it, then?"
The original museum had limited opening times, but Cushing expanded the attraction to include a gift shop and tea rooms, and opened seven days a week during the summer season. In 1982 he co-wrote, with Ian Starsmore, Steam at Thursford.For the scale of his efforts in saving much of Britain's steam heritage, Cushing was appointed an MBE in 1989.
In 1976 on the death of his wife Minnie, Cushing realised his collection could be subject to death duties when he died, and so set up the Thursford Collection as a trust endowed charity. Now run by his youngest son, John, the Thursford Collection attracts 170,000 visitors a year. George Cushing died on 26 February 2003, aged 98.
The collection today includes a Mighty Wurlitzer which is the fourth-largest in Europe, and has a total of 1,339 pipes. The Wurlitzer was rescued from the Paramount Theatre / Odeon Cinema Leeds. There is also a 19th-century gondola merry-go-round which was built in the Norfolk factory of Frederick Savage, decorated with carved heads depicting Queen Victoria and her family, including the German Kaiser Wilhelm II.
One of the organs in the collection, a Wellershaus, was seen and heard in the Dad's Army episode Everybody's Trucking, originally aired on 15 November 1974.
Strumpshaw is a village and civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. It is located on the northern bank of the River Yare around 6 miles (9.7 km) south-east of Norwich. The parish covers an area of 11.69 km2 (4.51 sq mi) and had a population of 602 in 245 households at the 2001 census, increasing to a population of 634 in 261 households at the 2011 Census. For the purposes of local government, it falls within the district of Broadland.
The Henry Ford is a history museum complex in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan, United States. The museum collection contains the presidential limousine of John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln's chair from Ford's Theatre, Thomas Edison's laboratory, the Wright Brothers' bicycle shop, the Rosa Parks bus, and many other historical exhibits. It is the largest indoor–outdoor museum complex in the United States and is visited by over 1.7 million people each year. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969 as Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1981 as "Edison Institute".
Bressingham Steam & Gardens is a steam museum and gardens located at Bressingham, west of Diss in Norfolk, England. The site has several narrow gauge rail lines and a number of types of steam engines and vehicles in its collection and is also the home of a Dad's Army exhibition.
The Hollycombe Steam Collection is a collection of steam-powered vehicles, amusement rides, and attractions based near Liphook in Hampshire, Southeast England. The collection includes fairground rides, a display farm, two railways, and the woodland gardens.
Aveling and Porter was a British agricultural engine and steamroller manufacturer. Thomas Aveling and Richard Thomas Porter entered into partnership in 1862, and developed a steam engine three years later in 1865. By the early 1900s, the company had become the largest manufacturer of steamrollers in the world.
Broadland is a Norfolk constituency, which has been represented in parliament since the 2019 general election by Jerome Mayhew, a Conservative.
The Great Dorset Steam Fair is an annual show featuring steam-powered vehicles and machinery. It now covers 600 acres (2.4 km2) and runs for five days. This used to be from the Wednesday after the UK August bank holiday, but from 2016 has been from the Thursday before the Bank Holiday until the Bank Holiday itself. It is reputedly the largest collection of steam and vintage equipment to be seen anywhere in the world. The fair was founded by the Dorset Steam & Historic Vehicle Club, and has been held in Dorset, England, every summer since 1969. The show is now organised by Michael Oliver's son, Martin Oliver, through Great Dorset Steam Fair Ltd.
"Everybody's Trucking" is the first episode of the seventh series of the British television sitcom Dad's Army. It was originally transmitted on 15 November 1974.
The Strumpshaw Hall Steam Museum in Strumpshaw, Norfolk is home to a collection of Traction engines, Steam rollers, a Showman's engine and a Steam wagon which are run on special occasions and on the last Sunday of each month from April to October.
The Midwest Old Threshers Reunion is an annual event that takes place in the small town of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, United States, and runs for five days, ending on the Labor Day weekend. It was first held in 1950, and has taken place every year except 2020, when it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When it first started, it focused on steam engines and antique agricultural equipment, but has developed into an entertainment event with a wider remit. The tiny town of less than 10,000 inhabitants receives thousands of visitors from around the world.
A showman's road locomotive or showman's engine is a steam-powered road-going 'locomotive' designed to provide power and transport for a travelling funfair or circus. Similar to other road-going traction engines, showman's engines were normally distinguished by the addition of a full-length canopy, a dynamo mounted in front of the chimney, and brightly coloured paintwork with ornate decorations. The dynamo was used to generate electricity to illuminate and power various fairground rides. Although originally the ride's motion was powered by an internal steam engine, some later rides were driven direct from the showman's engine via a belt drive.
The Pallot Heritage Steam Museum is a mechanical heritage museum located in Rue De Bechet in the Parish of Trinity on the island of Jersey.
Thursford is a village and civil parish in the county of Norfolk, eastern England. The village is 16.3 miles southwest of Cromer, 24.5 miles northwest of Norwich and 121 miles north-east of London. The village lies 6.9 miles northwest of the nearby town of Fakenham. The nearest railway station is at Sheringham for the Bittern Line which runs between Sheringham, Cromer and Norwich. The nearest airport is Norwich International Airport. The village once had its own Thursford railway station which is now closed. It is a proposed stop on the Norfolk Orbital Railway.
The Scarborough Fair Collection is a museum of fairground mechanical organs and showman's engines, located in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, one of the largest collections of its type in Europe.
Philip Julian Kelsall MBE ALCM is an English theatre organist who has been principal organist at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom since 1977. Born in Warrington, Lancashire, he was inspired to learn the instrument by Reginald Dixon and was initially appointed as organist for the Tower Circus band aged 18 in 1975; he also deputised for Ernest Broadbent in the Ballroom itself. This followed his attending Rossall School in Fleetwood, an independent day and boarding school where he was taught by Robin Proctor, who subsequently became Director of Music at Cheltenham College. After Ernest Broadbent's retirement, he was appointed Tower organist in 1977.
The Musical Museum is a charity, museum and concert venue located in Brentford, London Borough of Hounslow, a few minutes' walk from Kew Bridge railway station. Its stated purpose is to conserve, preserve, and develop nationally important collections related to the history of music reproduction; inform, engage and entertain the public regarding the evolution of music reproduction; and conserve, preserve, promote and present the theatre pipe organ as an instrument with a significant role in the development of light music on radio and in the cinema and as a musical art form.
The Nottingham Industrial Museum is a volunteer-run museum situated in part of the 17th-century stables block of Wollaton Hall, located in a suburb of the city of Nottingham. The museum won the Nottinghamshire Heritage Site of the Year Award 2012, a local accolade issued by Experience Nottinghamshire. The Museum collection closed in 2009 after Nottingham City Council withdrew funding, but has since reopened at weekends and bank holidays, helped by a £91,000 government grant, and run by volunteers. The museum contains a display of local textiles machinery, transport, telecommunications, mining and engineering technology. There is a display of cycles, motorcycles, and motor cars. There are examples of significant lace-making machinery. It also houses an operational beam engine, from the Basford, Nottingham pumping station.
The Charles Burrell Museum is a museum in Thetford in Norfolk, England, dedicated to steam power and steam transport.
The Music House Museum is a museum housing a collection of restored antique musical instruments, early radios, and recordings. It is housed in a 1909 dairy barn and a 1905 granary farmhouse, located between the communities of Acme and Williamsburg in Grand Traverse County of Northern Michigan. It was established in 1983 and is a result of a hobby by an architect and a mechanical engineer.