Series about museums struggling to connect with a modern audience. At the British Commercial Vehicle Museum a storm is brewing over the new leader's plans.
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You know the old saying, "many hands make light work"?
-Left hand a touch. Bit more.
In Leyland, in the heart of Lancashire,
there's a remarkable legacy of Britain's great industrial past.
The British Commercial Vehicle Museum
houses a priceless collection.
Lorries, buses, fire engines, a beautifully restored steam tractor.
Right, turn now.
And a Leyland Tiger Cub,
-the Rolls-Royce of coaches.
-I think you could join us.
-I thoroughly enjoyed it.
-Brings memories back.
These old vehicles and a vast archive of photographs are being
lovingly maintained for future generations by unpaid enthusiasts.
We've got to do it now, as our legacy to the museum.
But the future is not clear for these men and their machines.
Visitor numbers at the museum are at an all-time low.
-It's lost touch with the public.
-I've had more fun in other places.
If it closes, these priceless old vehicles will be sold off,
and a unique social hub of a community will be lost for ever.
We get complimented. "That's a nice cup of tea".
I say, "Well, it's a fresh cup, fresh teabag".
And we let them take the teabags out themselves.
In my six months' filming here, the museum's dire predicament
brings out the best and worst in those involved.
The answer is no.
-We're here to film what goes on, aren't we?
-The answer is no.
Those that seek a mutiny should be thrown overboard, in deep water.
The British Commercial Vehicle Museum is one of many
in the country that is struggling to reconnect with the British public.
In this series, I set out to examine how these custodians of our nation's
history are being preserved for future generations.
That's it. Oh!
When I first walk into the Leyland Museum, I'm charmed, but concerned.
The roof is leaking
and the lighting dim to keep the electricity bill down.
And yet shimmering through the gloom,
I see these wonderful old vehicles and the army of elderly men
who are working on them, polishing, restoring.
-Give us a cutter drill.
About a five sixteenth.
Don't ask me what millimetres it is, I've not got into that yet.
To me, the museum is a hidden gem,
but to these men, it's a daily labour of love.
Right, the other one was to earth. Contact!
BELL RINGS Hooray!
Nearly all of them are retired,
and many worked at the Leyland factory just down the road.
Their engineering expertise is being kept alive here.
We've got a bell.
The museum is housed in an old factory building
once owned by Leyland Motors.
During its heyday, the company was the largest
motor manufacturer in the world - famous, from Australia to Timbuktu.
Half of the museum's 60 or so vehicles were made by Leyland.
If you want, you can be given a guided tour
by the oldest volunteer, Bob,
who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of gear ratios and turning circles.
As you move from the low ratio up to the high ratio,
you've got a variable ratio.
Like all the volunteers,
Bob thinks Leyland's vehicles are in a league of their own.
When you look at this vehicle, it is a thing of beauty.
I say this is from the age of elegance.
Listen to the door.
That's a typical quality clonk,
befitting of a Rolls-Royce.
And this is a service coach.
I did some group technical tours last year.
They were very successful.
They really enjoyed them. And we'd lost two.
We searched for them - "Where are they?"
And they were having a sleep in the Popemobile.
That was how interesting it was to them, you see.
So you must be very careful.
The volunteers are proud of all the vehicles,
but the museum's most prized exhibit is the Popemobile.
It was purpose-built for the visit of John Paul II to the UK in 1982.
REPORTER: 'This was the blessing they'd come to receive.
'For 40 minutes, the Popemobile
'slowly made its way along scores of avenues'.
But the museum does not own all the vehicles.
In fact, one of the volunteers
has put his own double-decker bus on display.
112 brake horse power.
-How fast could it go?
-36.4 miles an hour, according to the manual.
'Alan Pritchard is one of the few people at this museum
'who never worked in transport. Instead, he was a tax inspector.
-'But he loves buses.' Spacious, isn't it?
-It is spacious, yes.
But it is only seven foot six wide, whereas modern vehicles
are eight feet two and a half.
-Do you think you might have ever travelled
on this bus as a passenger?
-Oh, many times. Yes.
-You know that you did?
Do you feel that you love the bus?
I think love's probably the wrong word.
It's certainly an asset. It's worth more than my car.
It's independently valued at £15,000.
That's an independent valuation by somebody who I didn't engage.
The museum also acts as a social club for these retired men.
When taking breaks from polishing and fixing vehicles,
they meet for tea in the cafe.
Yeah, the panelwork on the 1950s couches was screwed on.
Errol has been at the museum for 20 years, and runs the kitchen.
He has a natural charm
which strikes a chord with visitors and volunteers.
You might be lucky. You might get a chocolate one.
-Go on, then.
Errol provides the volunteers with cups of tea,
and microwaves their food.
I want my sausage rolls warming, please.
Even the occasional vol-au-vent.
Do you want that microwaving?
He loves nothing more than talking about the old days
at the Leyland factory.
In those days, we had a very big major export market,
you know, to Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Holland...
That's a sound effect for you.
I think it was the vol-au-vent.
It's going to stop. MICROWAVE PINGS
That's it. End of.
-Whoa! Oh, dear me!
-What have you done?
Explosion. It's the vol-au-vent.
-It's the vol-au-vent.
-You'll enjoy that, won't you, Graham?
You only need to put it on for 30 seconds. How long did you put it on?
-About three minutes.
You've lost your vol-au-vent!
I'm not washing up for you any more.
Oh, leave it. I'll eat them.
That's all right.
Don't film this.
Here, you can have all these 5ps. I hate 'em.
Out of the Club, the Wagon Wheels, the Penguin
and the Blue Riband, which is the bestseller?
Er, I would say Kit-Kats.
Kit-Kats do well.
It says it over here. When in doubt, brew up.
That's it. When in doubt, brew up.
Out of all the volunteers at the museum,
Errol has the strongest connection with Leyland Motors.
He worked there all his life.
At the end of this season,
Errol is going to hang up his pinny for the last time.
50 years of association with a vehicle manufacturer
will be coming to an end.
When Errol first started at the company,
it was a world-beater that employed over 20,000 people.
But today, just 900 work there.
# I still get the same old feeling
# Tearing at this heart of mine... #
Its main sites closed down in the early '90s, due to falling orders.
This is the quality of British people and British workers,
faced with nothing other than the door.
But the real decline began in the '60s and '70s.
At this time, the company became a byword for industrial unrest.
There is a danger that at the Leyland Museum,
history might be about to repeat itself.
Oh, that lovely oil. You can smell it.
The museum is now struggling to keep going.
In recent years, it has been selling off exhibits just to stay afloat.
So a new leader has been appointed from within the ranks of volunteers.
The funding bids that we made,
or the fund that we bid into for the heating, has been withdrawn.
That was a funding bid for half the cost, so that was nearly 50 grand.
Stephen Bullock has been a volunteer here for four years,
and will still be giving his time freely as the new boss.
During the day, he works as a manager for the NHS,
and the museum's board of trustees feel his business experience
might be useful in helping to save the museum.
At the start of the season,
he tells the trustees just how bad the situation is.
The concern at the moment is lack of visitors
means lack of gate receipts, means lack of shop sales,
which is having the serious detrimental effect upon us.
The costs have gone up five or six times what they were before.
It's a long, slow, drawn-out process.
We need to find that money from somewhere,
because if we're going to be £15-16,000 down,
and we projected originally a £9,000 surplus, that
will more than wipe the surplus out and you're back into deficit again.
We should really look at funding, I think, funding bids.
If we finish the season next year with just a repeat of the last
three or four years, we won't have a museum.
The trustees will be facing the serious decision
about the future of this place.
You've been brought in to save it, I suppose.
I didn't come originally to save it, I came to help.
But yes, I do have that feeling at the moment.
The trustees are giving Stephen power over his fellow volunteers,
and this is starting to ruffle a few feathers.
There is one person in particular who Stephen has fallen out with.
He works upstairs in the museum's vast archive of over
half a million photographs.
It's Alan Pritchard, the former taxman with the double-decker bus.
You know the story, don't you?
-You know the story, don't you?
-About how he upset me.
'Apparently, before I started filming,
'the two men had a big bust-up over the way the archive was being run.'
-I was archive manager.
And he made major decisions without having the courtesy to tell me.
I found out through the back door.
So, not surprisingly, I said enough's enough.
'The rumour I'd heard involved Stephen Bullock escorting
'Alan Pritchard off the premises'.
That was it. From then on, we haven't really hit it off.
I've probably said more than I should already.
Even though Stephen is in charge of the museum,
Alan is also very powerful.
He runs an organisation called
the Friends Of The Commercial Vehicle Museum.
The Friends is a group which gives a voice to all the volunteers, and
nearly everyone is a member of it.
Does anybody want to film my cheese on toast?
Do the Friends all see eye-to-eye with the management?
Well, there's always differences.
There's always a bit of a difference on that.
Sometimes we do, and sometimes we don't.
It's like at home, if you have an argument with your wife.
We all have our ups and downs in a marriage, don't we?
First of all, there's the engagement ring. Then there's the wedding ring.
And then comes the suffering.
That's another little joke.
I want to ask Stephen Bullock about the delicate situation
with Alan Pritchard, and he agrees to speak
to me only in the Popemobile, which is away from prying eyes.
If you're the chair of a friends' organisation of anything,
then you should be very supportive of the management,
and he should be very supportive of the trustees of whatever it is.
And you don't think Alan is supportive enough?
I do not, no.
There is a serious, serious review by the trustees at the moment
of the Friends' organisation,
because the trustees are concerned that the Friends' organisation
is not operating in the way that a friends' organisation should operate.
'Stephen wouldn't say any more than that, but it seems he might
'be trying to get rid of Alan.'
What is it, actually?
-Make, you mean?
-I haven't a clue.
Does it not tell you on the front?
Is that a sticker?
12 HP Star, is it?
That's fantastic. 1922.
You two wouldn't have been born then, would you?
Don't ask us!
# Remember back when love first found us... #
The few times the museum does get busy
is when it holds special events.
But these visitors are still mainly enthusiasts.
Dottie's all dressed up, got her uniform on.
In late spring, there is the American Roadshow.
Later in the summer, there is the Bikers' Roadshow.
What have I come to see? Whatever's in there.
I haven't been before, and it's time I came.
Sometimes a visitor doesn't need an excuse of a special event, because
they have a personal connection with a vehicle on display.
This lady owns this 1951 Morris Truck.
I feel that it looks classical, lines like that. There's no bulging bits.
This retired lorry driver spent many hours in the cab of this
Atkinson truck. Why do you hug it?
I have great affection for this vehicle.
I've driven it many miles.
These visitors just want to hang out with other like-minded folk,
people who really know their stuff.
British Leyland what they call badge engineered
the Morris Minor into an Austin.
What they did was, they put heavier leaf springs on,
beefed up the front suspension, put a crinkle grille on
the front, put an Austin motif on the bonnet
and one on the horn button, and they called it an Austin van.
To improve the museum's chances of survival,
Stephen Bulluck needs more ordinary people to visit -
people who aren't vehicle enthusiasts - and he has an idea.
For many years, the town of Leyland
celebrated its industrial might with a summer carnival.
But it stopped after the company got into difficulties in the '90s.
Now, Stephen wants to bring it back.
Over two days, the town will be taken over by a
procession of Leyland vehicles.
It's a chance for the museum to make money and raise its profile.
The stakes are high.
Stephen hopes the people of Leyland
will come out onto the streets and then back into the museum.
-Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
-But Stephen can only pull it off
if he has the goodwill of the volunteers.
To make this a financial success, we need 1,500 people
to come through this place over the two days.
They are expecting about 10,000 people to come, and we are therefore
expecting - we need - 15% of those people to come into the museum.
If we get that sort of number through,
this has been a financial success for us.
It is our opportunity to convince these people that
they should come back again. OK?
You've missed the best bit, Graham, we've finished.
Most of the volunteers seem behind Stephen's big event.
Some of the museum's most prized exhibits are brought out
of retirement to drum up publicity for the two-day extravaganza.
Two of the longest-standing volunteers, Norman and Graham,
are stopping off halfway through a fundraising drive
from John O'Groats to Land's End in the museum's Morris Minor van.
Bugger off, we haven't got time!
Grabbed myself a wig while I were up there. Look!
Don't watch an old man scramble out of a car.
I were coming down this road last night.
And Norman said, "It's 100 yards past the John O'Groats sign".
I couldn't see the John O'Groats sign.
Norman says, "It's here." I said, "This building?"
And a guy jumps out, and he's waving.
So, at 60 miles an hour, I went for the brakes,
and I was 100 yards past before it stopped.
We nearly finished up off the cliff at John O'Groats!
Are we ready?
Right, see you when I see you. Bye!
The Leyland festival will be happening in four weeks' time.
While Stephen is trying to connect with the broadest possible audience
by bringing back the Leyland Festival,
at the museum, a tiny new exhibit is slowly taking shape, which can
only appeal to a niche audience.
A volunteer called Colin Balls is creating an audiovisual display.
Here's a question. How do you like me to look?
-Do you want me to look in there or at you?
'Colin ran a business which built projectors,
'and this display seems like a shrine to his company,
'Colin Balls Audiovisual, which he'd abbreviated to CBAV.'
It has a simple device for...
'He told me about every model he'd ever built,
'right up to the point he was killed off by the digital age.
'I couldn't really see a connection between Colin's display
'and the rest of the museum.
'After a while, we are joined by Alan,
'the chairman of the Friends Association, who has fallen out
'with Stephen Bullock. He's been helping Colin
'with building the centrepiece of the exhibition -
'a replica Victorian magic lantern, the very first type of projector.'
..And it's going to project on the board.
The system will come in and people will sit down and see the show.
Excuse me. Excuse me a minute, I know what it is...
'Next door is the cinema room. This is very much Colin's domain.'
-That's a bit loud.
-I think you're fiddling with my unit there.
Colin uses this interruption to show me an example of one
of his AV presentations.
All right, Alan.
-Do you want to put all the lights off?
'Colin's display was a sequence of images.
'Cars mixing through to lorries.
'Lorries mixing through to buses.
'All accompanied by a music soundtrack.
'It was put together with care and precision.
'This is Colin's life's work.
'Alan loves it too.
'I get the feeling that Colin and Alan's passions are running
'free with this project.
'It's as if they could do anything they wanted in the museum.'
Very nice, that.
Very good. In a museum like this, who do you think holds the power?
Is it the volunteers or the management?
Well, you've got to work together. The key is to work together.
It's no good not working together.
-Is the balance here good?
Is the balance here good?
Average, I would say.
'I think Alan is choosing his words carefully.
'But he knows that in this organisation, the volunteers have
'a tremendous amount of power and without them it could not function.
'Most of the time Alan Pritchard and Colin Balls hang out in the museum's
'archive, which overlooks the main exhibition hall.'
Here old photos of buses and lorries are lovingly checked and catalogued
by Alan, Colin and some other volunteers.
The glass plates were the earliest form of photo
and many are damaged by moisture.
They have all got to be looked after individually so...
I think if I lift it, it would be about 120.
I'll get through the job.
But I don't intend living that long.
No way. No way. It's one heck of an exercise.
It is a quiet department, rather like a library.
But there is tension in the air too.
An old member of the unit has just returned.
Cliff, a retired bus driver from Burnley.
No, it's not there.
He left the archive a few months ago after a bust-up with someone
but has been persuaded back by the new leader, Stephen Bullock.
Stephen's asked me to come back, you know.
I always come on the display days, on the Sundays, always.
To give help and whatever they need, you know.
But I, I stopped doing the work.
It's a bit involved with that man...
The world's full of them.
You've got a new recruit, haven't you, Cliff?
You know... You worked with him in the past.
'Both Cliff and Allen are whispering
'because in the Archive Department it feels like the walls have ears.'
-Everyone, it's called the Popemobile.
-It's not the Batmobile,
-it's the Popemobile.
-And that's where the Pope used to sit,
so he could wave to all the people in the crowd.
The train arriving on platform four is the 4:14 for London,
calling at Wigan, Warrington, Crewe, Rugby and London Euston.
Passengers for Blackpool,
please go over the foot bridge onto platform two.
Thank you. # Bing-bong. #
It is the morning of the Leyland Festival.
The volunteers are in early at the museum. There is a sense of chaos.
Will everything go to plan?
-They haven't turned up?
-I was told they're going to be here for 10am.
-No, they start the service at 10.
Over 200 vehicles gather on the outskirts of the town.
There is a sense of anticipation.
At midday, the procession gets underway,
led by the Popemobile carrying Leyland's Mayor.
It seems a very understated start. Only a few people stopping to watch.
# Well, hello there
# Gee, it's been a long, long time
# It's been so long now... #
But then we turn the corner into the main high street. It's swamped.
The people of Leyland have turned out in their thousands.
# When the saints go marching in. #
Do you think it's a bit overdue, this festival?
Yes. We want Leyland Festival back, don't we, Leyland?
-There you are. You've got the response.
Very good. Very good.
..And it's only got 1,000 kilometres on it.
We did meet in the Leyland Motors Club every Saturday.
We went dancing as teenagers, and that's where we met.
And we've had quite a good life.
Thanks to Leyland.
The procession ends just near to the museum.
And those people who'd been lining the streets begin
to pour through the doors.
For the first time in many years, it's busy.
It's really, really busy. Really, really busy.
The cafe is so hectic it spills out on to the exhibition floor.
Errol and Bruno are run off their feet.
We're that busy, that's what I say, we haven't got time to spit.
Is it still the rush on, Errol?
-I won't need rocking in my bed tonight.
I'll just collapse in it and die.
I tell you how I want to go.
I want to be shot in the back at the age of 90 by a jealous husband.
Have you still got an eye for the ladies then?
No. Well, I have an eye, that's about all I've got!
The rest is all worn out.
It's all gone.
-You don't stop looking, do you?
-The golden rule is look but never touch.
-That's it. That's the golden rule.
-Once you've passed a certain age?
-Yes. Well, usually, yes.
-Or when you're married, you mean?
Well, married as well.
-But unmarried as well.
-Surely if you're unmarried, you can touch?
Well, it depends who you touch.
Three cups of your excellent coffee, please.
The climax to the festival is a competition to pull the Popemobile.
At the end of the weekend,
over 1,400 people have been into the museum
and over £6,000 have been taken.
It's been a complete success.
The next morning Stephen holds a meeting with the volunteers.
Thank you all. I think you're all absolutely incredible.
You did a fantastic job and I think you also did a very professional job
which I think is a credit to not only the the museum,
but I think it's a credit to transport generally.
We should all put our hands together and say thanks for what you've done
to get this museum going.
There's still a long way to go yet.
Thanks for that. Thank you for that.
This has been a personal triumph for Stephen
in his new role as leader.
It gives him the confidence to tackle
some of the museum's long-standing thorny issues.
He's got doubts about Colin Balls' Audio Visual Display,
which is taking shape next to Alan Pritchard's double-decker bus.
Stephen never gave Colin permission to install it.
A previous director did that.
Stephen is concerned it's not relevant to a transport museum.
And it's still awaiting the centrepiece of the display.
The Victorian magic lantern.
We're halfway through the season.
This isn't, because we're monitoring what people are looking at,
this isn't capturing people's attention
in the way that we would have hoped.
Let's come back to why they're coming in - they are not coming
in to see this, because this isn't advertised
and the people coming in here do not expect to see this.
This is why we clearly need to link this with the audience
that is coming through the door.
No, I don't agree.
That wasn't what we planned.
I don't agree with you, because on that wall it says
"Display and preparation"
and that's exactly what it is.
But, Colin, this was never going to be a black hole in 2009.
I share Stephen's concerns.
Colin's display has become a sprawling history of photography.
It has got out of hand.
...and at the end product,
well it excites people.
Maybe it didn't excite you,
but it certainly excites plenty of other people.
Stephen doesn't look excited.
Stephen looks worried.
How much more work is there to do on here time-wise?
I'm aiming for the end of the year.
Stephen may be a volunteer just like all the others,
but he has the power to decide the fate of Colin's
display and will do so at the end of the summer.
Are you a bit disappointed by his reaction?
-You must be a bit disappointed by that?
-It's what I expected.
Stephen also has the power to summon the Chairman
of the Friends' Association to his office for a meeting.
Alan Pritchard and Stephen Bullock do not get on.
In fact in all the time I've been filming, they've avoided each other.
The Chairman of Trustees has waited from 15th May 2009
to have a reply to his letter.
And here we are on 14th July.
Colin and I were down there on...
Stephen told me the trustees have written to Alan Pritchard
asking certain questions about the way the Friends' Association is run.
But he has not replied. Now Stephen wants answers
from the Friends' Association's senior members.
Peter has gone.
So until I've spoken to him I'm not having a meeting with you.
I don't not know what's prompted him to go, but he's gone.
Alan? When is the chairman going to get a response to his letter?
When is the chairman
going to get a full response to his letter?
When the committee deems it reasonable.
So you've had this letter for eight weeks..?
I've not fallen out with you, so that's it. I'll say nothing else.
I won't fall out with you.
But he wants to have a meeting with you?
I'm saying nothing else.
Is it because there's something in the letter
that the Friends disagree with?
Is that the issue - why they haven't responded?
If I was being extremely...sweeping
..I would say that we have some committee members
who are embedded in 1970s trade unionism,
who are trying to preserve what is a long gone world,
when the rest of us have moved on.
And I just find it extremely sad.
-Has Alan gone?
-He's gone home, yes.
In high dudgeon.
-Is he OK?
Oh, yes. He's not different than normal.
-He thrives on it.
Within a few minutes the news of Alan's departure
has spread like wildfire around the museum.
Stephen hurriedly gets the volunteers together
for an impromptu meeting.
Private meeting. Private meeting.
-Come on, lads.
-No, switch off, now.
Off. No. The answer is no.
-We're here to film what goes on, aren't we?
-The answer is no.
Please don't let me have to tell you again. No.
It transpires that Stephen is calling for
an extraordinary general meeting of the Friends' Association.
Afterwards in the Popemobile Stephen reveals he is hoping the
association will oust Alan and elect a new chairman.
It feels like the confessional, doesn't it?
Do you think or do you hope that the Friends' Association
appoint a new chairman?
Alan has major, major strengths.
He has excellent knowledge.
But all I can say is that the working relationship between the Committee
and the Museum has not been good.
I don't think it's been particularly strong for a few years now.
I think the opportunity is ripe
probably for there to be a new set of people.
And they elect the chairman, whoever they want to elect.
The next day, Alan is not back in the museum.
Nobody has heard from him.
Up in the archive, the atmosphere is awkward.
The future seems uncertain now their leader has gone.
The whole rack there, all the plates,
he indexed from his knowledge.
And that knowledge is going to be impossible to replace.
So what happens is anybody's guess.
You think if he was to go and not come back
it would be a loss to the museum?
-Of course it would, yeah.
-A great loss.
That's without question.
It's not the sort of knowledge that's passed on.
-Once he's gone, it's not replaceable.
This archive ran just like clockwork when Alan was running it.
So, at the moment, there is no direction.
-No real direction.
-So, you're in here...
We're doing our own thing, actually. We have plenty to do.
We've enough work here to keep us going for the next 20 years.
91 is nine.
The bill sheets with Scammell trucks.
That'll be the one that's missing when we get to the end.
I sense the whole museum is now being dragged into an argument that
originally was just between two men.
All the volunteers seem to be taking sides.
Either you are for Stephen or Alan.
Change or the status quo.
In the kitchen, I find Ron and Norman.
They are hoping Alan will not come back.
Those that seek a mutiny should be thrown overboard.
In deep water.
Is that how you feel?
Yeah. I'm the same.
I mean, we don't need them.
It's a fight for survival as it is these days.
# Thinking of the past
# I feel my love is slipping by
# At such a speed... #
In the early 90s, Leyland Motors was
reeling from a lack of orders
and the legacy of industrial strife in the 70s and 80s.
Disagreements between the unions and the management
had undermined the company.
Similarly, it seems the fight between the newly-appointed leader
Stephen Bullock and Alan Pritchard of the Friends' Association
might ultimately undermine the museum.
I come here to do a day's work
and I make it so that other people can enjoy it.
All they want to do here is stir it.
Who, when you say "they"..?
I'm not telling you any names.
The Friends and the Management.
-It's between Friends and Management.
I have nothing against the manager of this place, but a lot of people have.
If the volunteers at the museum need any incentive to make sure
history doesn't repeat itself, it's available to them right next door.
This wasteland over half a mile in diameter
was once home to one of the biggest factories in the country.
The Farington site of Leyland Motors
was one of several in the town.
At its peak, it produced 6,000 lorries a year.
We've got permission to do this, so it's all above board. Open the gate.
Errol wants to take me back to the site
before it's completely demolished.
Errol started at the factory in the mid-50s.
The very last days I worked here in July 1990, I would have walked down
these corridors, carrying drawings and everything I was asked to do,
within reason, of course.
It's all gone.
I've moved round the side of the building now
and as you can see it's in a bad way.
It was like one big happy family,
even though there were thousands of people worked here.
It's so sad. So sad. 60 years...
This site was at its peak in the 60s and 70s
and eventually closed in the 90s.
We're all replaceable. And that is so sad.
Being with Errol amongst the rubble of this once vast manufacturing
empire confirms to me how important it is that the museum survives.
It's the last link to a golden era in our industrial past.
-Oh, my goodness me!
-What is it?
Look at this. "Leyland Motors Ltd.
"Reconditioned by machine tool repair department."
Date and then it would be stamped on the date.
But reconditioned. Not thrown away and scrapped.
Would that be of value in the museum?
I'm sure it would be. I think there seems to be a block of these.
Yeah, there is. So that's just not the one.
How about that?
Made of brass. And that won't rust, will it? Fancy that, lying there.
I can't believe it.
God, it's an omen.
Oops! I'm dropping it. "Leyland Motors Ltd."
When Errol retires from the museum's kitchen, it will bring to an end
50 years of association with Leyland Motors.
At the Museum, two days have passed since Alan Pritchard stormed out.
Colin Balls is showing a friend of his who didn't want to be filmed
around his AV exhibition
when Alan suddenly turns up.
He's brought some parts for Colin's Victorian magic lantern.
But Stephen Bullock had told me he's banned Alan from the museum.
-I made one that's slightly smaller
that you can use as a drift to drive these in.
Yes. You know the tubes for going in the top?
While we are filming, Stephen's second in command, Bishop Michael,
arrives on the scene.
He doesn't want us to film, but Alan tells us to keep the camera rolling.
If you want to film it, you can do. I don't mind.
I've been asked to ask you to leave the building
and I've been asked that they don't film it.
As I say, I have a legal right to be on the premises to inspect my vehicle
whenever the museum's open.
What's the reason for all this? I don't understand.
-I don't know.
-When I left on Tuesday...
Don't question the messenger, Colin.
-Somebody must have rung him to tell him I'm here.
I did because I was asked to do so.
-What on earth?
Alan hangs about for a few minutes and makes the point that as the
owner of an exhibit, he has a legal right to inspect his vehicle.
And I have inspected the vehicle while I've been here.
And I shall inspect it again.
But then leaves...
in a mood.
I watch Alan drive off in the rain.
By banning Alan, Stephen hopes the museum
will be able to embrace change and move forward.
-Your wish is my command.
-I'll have a baked potato.
A baked potato. That's just one? A plain one?
Can I have it with cheese?
-Cheese and beans?
-Cheese and beans!
How does that look? Wonderful?
There. You could almost eat that. There you go.
As they say in America - enjoy!
I'll have gin and tonic!
-# If you're going to San Francisco... #
Over the next few days, the volunteers at the museum
try to get back to normal.
Right. Well, that's looking good. If that's on Granada tonight,
I'll be all right!
Stephen Bullock has arranged a special barbecue in the car park
to thank them all for their hard work over the summer.
Are you going to enjoy that roast hog?
Have they cooked pig yet? No?
Well, we can't eat, then, can we?
What do you have in there, Bob?
Just hot dogs. It's all they're making, hot dogs.
That's all. I was waiting for the veggie burgers,
but they're not quite ready yet.
-Is that a pasta tuna salad?
-Yes, I think it is.
If I can get it off the fork.
Sticks like glue to a blanket!
That'll do. Thank you.
Stephen has got something new to celebrate.
Just want to see a few words...
The museum has got accreditation for the first time.
So this accreditation demonstrates this museum is in business.
It gives us an opportunity to apply for funding.
There are hundreds of museums that don't have this.
It put us up there with the big guys.
Getting accreditation will really help the museum
in its fight for survival.
I knew Alan Pritchard would not be at the barbecue,
but his close friend Colin Balls has not turned up for it either.
For Alan, there is more gloom in store.
We've taken the view that it's best if Alan doesn't come back.
So it just makes logic for Alan
to take his vehicle to another museum, which he's done in the past.
He's had it elsewhere.
And therefore it makes a nice clean break.
And Alan can go and pursue his interests with another museum.
When I call Alan to find out more about this,
he asked me to come round and see him.
Since retiring as a tax man, he's lived alone.
His home is like a small reference library.
Books about buses and lorries are everywhere.
On the walls and shelves, photographs of his red bus
sit side by side with those of his mother.
For some reason,
he only wants to show me half his collection of books.
Not because it's been nicked. I don't want all of it on film.
I don't want people to see the extent of it.
How many books do you think you've got?
Each one has been painstakingly indexed.
These are listed by publisher
and then author's name alphabetically.
So, title, author's name, ISBN.
-Have you been back to see it recently?
-Who's looking after it now?
-Nobody at the moment.
But presumably the whole episode
must have made you feel a bit unhappy?
I mean, it can't be nice what's happened to you?
Well, I don't know what you know.
What I know is that you've been asked not to come back to the museum
and that you've been written to and told to take your bus out.
-Who told you that?
I don't know why he needed to tell you.
-Is that the case?
-It is the case, but no valid grounds have been given.
-Beyond that, I'm not saying anything.
No valid grounds have been given.
-So, you're contesting it?
-Oh, definitely. Definitely.
Alan wants to contest his ban from the museum,
but it seems to me as if his fate has been sealed.
# All my sorrow
# Sad tomorrow
# Take me back
# To my old home
# All my crying... #
At long last, Colin Ball's replica Victorian magic lantern is finished
and ready for installation.
I'm very impressed with it.
But it's strange to have him unveiling it without Alan there.
And Colin is being very protective of Alan.
Presumably he would want to be able to continue
his relationship with the museum here?
He's otherwise engaged today, but it would have been nice to have done it.
But I'm on holiday, as you know.
You say he's otherwise engaged, but surely the fact of the matter is
he's not allowed back at this moment in time?
I've not heard that. Who said that?
I thought that's what he was told?
Well, if he's been told, we've not been told.
I thought you were with him when he was told?
He came in here and he was asked to leave,
pending talking to Stephen Bullock.
So, he was only asked to leave on that occasion?
As far as I'm aware.
In September, six months after Stephen Bullock
first outlined his vision to them, the Board of Trustees reassembles.
High on the agenda is their troubled relationship
with the Friends' Association.
There has been so much success this last 12 months,
but success of course is brought about by change.
And of course not everybody can accept change.
And I think this is possibly the problem -
that the current Chairman of the Friends
has not been prepared to move forward.
I don't think the committee
have done a great deal for the Friends these last 12 months.
Now, this is something that has to be rectified
because it is a very bad omission, I think quite honestly,
on their managing committee.
We'll get it back under control.
Bit of a storm in a teacup, I think.
The Trustees have decided to get rid of Alan Pritchard
once and for all.
But then out of the blue I get a call from Alan.
Welcome everybody to yet another Committee meeting.
He is holding a meeting of the Friends' Committee at his house
and he's asked me to film it.
Colin is there and so are Alan's faithful archive team.
But Graham is there and so is Errol,
who it turned out is the Secretary of the Friends' Association.
You've got in front of you a suggested agenda
for the annual meeting.
This is based strictly in accordance with the Constitution.
Check it when you get home.
It dawns on the halfway through the meeting,
Alan's Committee is plotting to fight back
against Stephen and the Trustees.
I'm suggesting that we have the meeting on Sunday 1st November.
Now, somebody will have to approach Stephen Bullock
to arrange for the use of the cinema
and that I can be present as Chairman.
And if I can't be present as Chairman,
the meeting will be held somewhere else. It's as simple as that.
And I'm not going to be escorted in and out by him.
It's as simple as that.
I shall just go in as an ordinary member.
It's only right and proper that Alan says that we try and have it
-where we've always had it.
Now, if we're barred from that...
Well, he'll be showing himself up in his true colours if he does that.
Yeah, that's it.
There's going to be an emergency general meeting, isn't there?
-Is there? You tell me.
-What's the meeting..?
-You tell me.
No. You say there is going to be an extraordinary general meeting.
What do you know about it?
No meeting has been called as at this time.
As a Committee, we have not been told officially
that anybody is going to call an extraordinary general meeting
and nobody can call an extraordinary general meeting.
The only people who can call such a meeting is this Committee.
If we decide around this table now
that we want an extraordinary general meeting, we can call one.
So, if Mr Bullock had this meeting and ousts you, he couldn't do that?
Turn the camera off.
-Turn the camera off before I answer that.
You can answer that with the camera on.
No, you're digging too deep, Richard. I'm sorry.
You're digging too deep. We're sorry.
What was your other question?
I don't understand why that's such a sensitive...
You've talked very candidly throughout the meeting
about the difficult situation.
-Richard, you're digging too deep.
-Turn it off.
-Turn it off.
-See you. Bye.
Alan is not leaving without a fight.
But my time is coming to an end at the museum.
And at the end of the season, a surprise leaving party
is organised for Errol in the cafe.
Leave the light off. Leave it like that.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Nearly all the volunteers are there.
The Friends have brought him a leaving present.
Well, isn't that fantastic?
Bamber Bridge Motor Services. I'm speechless.
Look at this cake!
I like that! Oh, my goodness me!
Aw! When you've got your friends, eh?
I want to find out what the latest is with Alan and Colin.
-I notice that Colin's not here tonight. Why is that?
-He was here.
There's been a big dispute.
Did you know his display's gone?
-It's gone, totally. It's all been smashed up.
There's nothing there.
-Yeah. You walk round there.
Well, the lights are out now, but it's gone totally.
It took two years to build and two days to take it down!
I go outside the cafe into the dimly-lit exhibition hall.
It's not just Colin's AV display that has disappeared.
Alan's double-decker bus has gone, too.
Both replaced by a tiny yellow three-wheeler van.
But that isn't all that has changed.
The Friends' Association has been disbanded.
The Trustees have decided that the Trust is no longer prepared to
have its name associated with that Friends' organisation.
And the Trust has the power to do that, does it?
-Yes, it does.
-Because when I was round at Alan's
he was holding a meeting of the Friends' Committee
and there seemed to be some doubt as to who had the power,
whether the Trust could actually, you know... It's all to do with
whose constitution you believe in, doesn't it?
The Trust has the power to be associated with or not
The Trust had decided it didn't want to be associated
with Alan Pritchard any more.
And 20 years of a Friends' Association had come to an end.
Ladies and gentlemen, our Errol.
Thank you so much.
I hope this really is champagne!
I feel if the Commercial Vehicle Museum is to survive,
it needs to focus on the needs of the visitor
and not pander to the whims of the volunteers.
Although it is nursing the wounds caused by bitter infighting,
I think the museum's future is more secure now
than when I first started filming six months ago.
Best of luck and good luck for the future, Errol.
Right. Well, that's very kind, Richard.
And it's been very, very nice knowing you.
And I'll set off now. OK, then?
I never did give you that Eccles cake, did I?
-We'll see about it next time.
-All right. Bye bye.
# Hey, have you ever tried
# Really reaching out for the other side?
# I may be climbing on rainbows
# But baby, here goes
# Dreams, they're for those who sleep
# Life is for us to keep
# And if you're wandering what this all is leading to
# I want to make it with you. #
Series in which acclaimed filmmaker Richard Macer visits three different museums struggling to connect with a modern audience.
At the British Commercial Vehicle Museum in Lancashire, a mutiny is brewing over the appointment of a new leader. The museum is the last link to Leyland Trucks, one of the nation's great manufacturing giants, but just as Leyland fell victim to industrial action in the 70s and 80s now history is in danger of repeating itself at the Commercial Vehicle Museum too.
The first thing new leader Stephen Bullock wants to do is bring back the Leyland festival. For many years this was the town's way of celebrating its industrial might with a procession of lorries and buses, but after the factory closed the carnival was cancelled.
However, not everyone approves of these new changes at the museum. Some of the many longstanding volunteers are vehicle enthusiasts who think the museum should stay just the way it is. But will it survive if it doesn't change?
Macer spent six months filming amidst the gleaming lorries and double decker buses and observed as a bitter row erupted between the new leader and the head of the volunteers.