By Christine Liew
The world's oldest "surviving" forklift - a 1926 Yale.
Forklift history buffs can soon ride on old trains to see historic forklifts in a British museum that's the brainchild of a former forklift engineer.
The National Fork Truck Heritage Centre, in Derbyshire, UK, started by former Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) director and BT Rolatruc service engineer James Brindley, officially opens on October 18 (Forkliftaction.com News #244
Brindley said the museum was not officially opened until this year because it had to be readied for general viewing. Since 2004, the museum had been accessible on "limited days".
"The exhibits were in no particular order and required attention mechanically or cosmetically. A library and archive has now been built on a mezzanine floor and floor covering purchased for pedestrian areas."
Visitors can view 35 restored forklifts, bearing names like Coventry Climax, Towmotor and Lansing Bagnall, from Tuesday to Friday, and Sundays on request, from 10.30am to 4.30pm.
Museum highlights include a 1926 Yale forklift believed to be the world's oldest "surviving" forklift. The museum has borrowed a 1946 prototype of the Coventry Climax Godiva truck ET199 from the Coventry Transport Museum.
Other forklift brands on display include Matling, Histor, Wrigley, BT, Shelvoke, Drewry, Collis, Ransomes, Steinbock, Fenwick, Joshua Shaw, Conveyancer, Matbro, Aerolift, Lister and Harbilt.
Brindley said about 20 forklifts were in storage, awaiting refurbishment. More forklifts would be exhibited next year.
An honours board listed names of those who had donated GBP1,000 (USD1,854.80) or more to the museum. Several benefactors had signed up to give GBP250 (USD463.70) a year towards the upkeep of the museum.
"Jim [Brindley] has made a remarkable contribution to the industry. His tireless efforts have ensured the whole concept of a forklift museum has come to life. His foresight and determination has been an example to us all," FLTA chairman Paul Nichol said.
John Bather, Derbyshire's Lord Lieutenant, will unveil a commemorative plaque at 2.30pm on October 18.
To get to the museum: Leave M1 junction 28, join A38 towards Derby, leave at 3rd exit and follow brown tourist signs to the Midland Railway Centre. The forklift museum and railway centre are on the same site.
Visitors can ride on old trains from the railway centre to reach the museum.