Tyre specialist lends aid to £60,000 annual bill needed to keep the NCM open

Schwalbe backs National Cycle Museum

The National Cycle Museum is calling on the bike industry to chip in following a generous cash donation from Schwalbe, which will go a long way to helping the volunteer curators meet the £60,000 annual bill to keep the doors open to visitors.

Located in Llandinidrod Wells in Wales, the museum’s collection is one of Europe’s largest cycle collections, spanning 6,000 square feet of space and housing around 250 cycles in period settings, including examples from 1818 through to the present day. It also displays rare components and accessories from this period.

Sadly, income generated from daily paying visitors, subscriptions and website sales cannot cover the cost of operating the exhibition and the collection requires trade backing to remain operational seven days a week from the May to October peak season.

Schwalbe has recently lent its support to the exhibition with a cash injection. However, material donations are also welcomed, whether it be contributions of cycles and cycling memorabilia, or cycling books or catalogues. Past donations include Chris Boardman’s Lotus Sport Olympic replica, used as a reserve bike, as well as his Olympic skin suit. The museum also houses original drawings from Frank Petterson, 1,500 cycling cub badges from the length and breadth of the UK and the bicycle ridden by Mr George Nightingale when he achieved the record breaking time of less than one hour for 25 miles in 1939.

Marketing manager at Schwalbe, Dave Taylor told BikeBiz why the rubber specialist got involved with the museum. “We recognise that museums such as these need as much support as possible, not only through tourism and from local communities, but also through organisations within the industry such as Schwalbe UK."

A panel of dedicated trustees have now drawn up a dedicated development plan, setting out specific targets and projects to be attained, many of which can materialise with a little input from the trade. Such targets include organising an ‘Olympic’ Stand at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre during the Cycle Show 2011 to utilise the space kindly donated to the NCM and its Trustees at Earls Court Show last year. A display is also to be arranged for the York Rally held on June 25th and 26th at the York Racecourse.

Further to this, the museum is looking to launch an appeal to national and international cycling bodies to support UK cycling heritage.

It is also hoped that membership to the ‘Friends of the Museum’ programme will grow with a little bit of marketing within the trade, particularly from cycle businesses within Wales. Membership of the ‘Friends’ entitles you to free access to the National Cycle Collection for one year, as well as the receipt of four magazines each year containing articles of interest from the world of cycling and up-to-date information on the work of the museum.

Without membership, admission charges are just £3 for adults, £2.50 for senior citizens and £1.50 for children.
If you think you can help The NCM or for more information visit www.cyclemuseum.org, or contact cycle.museum@care4free.net

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