Thursday 1st December 2011
As many will know from the local newspapers if you live local to Abingdon, and reports in Safety Fast, the County Museum in Abingdon is currently undergoing a major refurbishment and has been closed since late 2010. When it reopens, hopefully in June 2012, it will contain a permanent MG display which will be accessible whenever the museum is open. Those of you who have visited the museum in the past will remember that the MG Room was only open during weekends and manned by volunteers so a giant leap forward is almost upon us! The latest stage in the refurbishment of the Museum occurred during this week with the addition of the largest exhibit so far – the last MGB Roadster to come off the production line at the Abingdon factory in the 1980s.
The plan was for the big scissor lift to do all the work once the shell had been transferred from the delivery wagon using the lorry crane. You will note that the car had been stripped of all the drive train, both axles and the windscreen so that it could be rolled through the window on its transport frame. All this preparation work had been done by British Heritage and the resultant depth of the MGB shell was 30mm narrower than the opening window width (fortunately these windows were built very tall because in the 19th century they were actually French doors allowing the dignitaries to step out onto the balconies that existed then).
Nothing ever goes to plan on these occasions. Despite the scissor lift having a capacity of 750Kgs it would not extend as far as the window ledge so the lorry crane had to take part of the weight and tail the MGB in through the window.