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11
History on Wheels Museum, Eton, England

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The History On Wheels Museum, near to Eton and Windsor, England is generally only open on the last Sunday of each month, so you need to plan a visit carefully, but it is certainly worthwhile if you are within striking distance. Run by Tony and Vera Oliver, the museum is a family owned, non-profit making operation.

Many of the vehicles have been used in film and television productions, and for this reason many of them are maintained in working order. This is also the reason for its location in this part of the country, being near to the film studios at Iver (Pinewood) and Bray.

Fortunately the museum is all undercover, as on the day of our visit it was pouring with rain, but as can be seen from the photos, the light quality is very good. The photos do also illustrate how there is quite a large number of vehicles stored in a relatively limited space.

Some may recognise certain vehicles from appearances at the War and Peace show in Beltring, particularly the prize-winning Krupp Protze. Other items in the collection that may be considered highlights:
  • GAZ-67B, with a fascinating provenance
  • GAZ-69
  • Horch Kfz 15
  • 1925 Crossley Kegresse half track
  • Phanomen Granit Ambulance
  • Renault UE Tankette
  • Tatra 57K
  • Stoewer Type 40
  • Mercedes Type 230
  • M5 Stuart (not too sure about that turret though)
  • What I think is an SdKfz 221 (is it genuine...?)
  • The famous Captain Gerard folding bicycle
  • Welbike with original CLE container dropped at Arnhem
  • Finally, I have to mention the "Pigeon Bra".
As well as the large motor vehicle gallery, there are further displays of militaria, a reconstructed Anderson air-raid shelter, a collection of bicycles as well as a number of toys and models.

I hope some will forgive the inclusion of a few not strictly military hardware related items, particularly the "What do I do..." posters. I hadn't seen these before, and not only are they fascinating and wonderful examples of 1940's British Ministry of Information material ("I say to myself: Our chaps will deal with them") but are quite emotionally powerful as you think about the response of civilians being caught up in conflict.

The museum website: History on Wheels Museum
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About the Author

About Matthew Lenton (firstcircle)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH EAST, UNITED KINGDOM

Earliest model memory is a Super Sabre my grandmother bought for me in around 1972. We cut the pieces off the sprue with an ivory handled butter knife. Have always dabbled in painting and making things, and rediscovered doing that with plastic in 2008. Vowed then to complete the 30 year old stash...


Comments

Excellent photos! That looks like a nice little museum. It's a shame it's not in a larger building where everything could be spread out a bit. Looks awful cramped in there.
JUL 15, 2012 - 05:11 PM
Thanks for that one Matthew, felt like I visited the museum myself
JUL 15, 2012 - 05:48 PM
Excellent feature, Matthew! Somehow this one slipped passed me. We have a few of these type of "private" museums within an easy drive and most always contain a hidden treasure or two. Your pictures are very good and I personally love the Protze ones. I also agree with AFVFan's assessment about the cramped nature of the museum. It would have been nice to see a few more images of the vehicles from different angles. As for your "guess" about the German armoured car and it's authenticity, I believe that it's a fake. Having reviewed and built several 22X versions, I became rather familiar with them. The turret weapon arrangement strongly suggests the Sd. Kfz. 222 yet the turret size is too small and the upper body contours quite wrong. Enlarging the images also strongly suggests that it is made from quite thin sheet metal. This alone makes me believe it a movie "prop," albeit not too bad a one. Cheers, Jan
AUG 04, 2012 - 11:06 AM
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