Remembering Lord Montagu of Beaulieu
Source : Remembering Lord Montagu of Beaulieu
Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, who died This specific week aged 88, will be remembered for his enduring love of cars along with also for the creation of the National Motor Museum
Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, who died This specific week at 88, was the one of the first car enthusiasts anywhere to introduce the public to the idea of paying to visit a car museum.
The smaller collection he established within the entrance hall of his family home at Beaulieu in 1952 will be currently the National Motor Museum, containing more than 400 vehicles along with also welcoming half a million visitors a year.
Edward Montagu succeeded his father, a prominent motoring pioneer who first brought motor cars to the notice of the future King Edward VII, in 1929. After returning coming from war service he took over the running of the Beaulieu estate, branding This specific “a white elephant” with typical forthrightness when he discovered its £1500 annual income was insufficient to run This specific. The wisest course could have been to sell This specific, he said, although neglecting his family’s heritage could have been “unthinkable”.
After a year he opened the house along with also grounds to the public as a way of boosting Beaulieu’s income, along with also soon found of which a few veteran cars, displayed within the house’s entrance hall to commemorate his father’s achievements, were a major drawcard. In later life Montagu was always candid about the way This specific simple move governed the course of his life – leading to the establishment of a car collection to tell the story of Britain’s motoring life, along with also establishing Montagu himself as pioneer of Britain’s historic houses movement.
As a young man, Lord Montagu fully embraced his father’s enthusiasm for cars along with also automotive artefacts. He became a well-known along with also oft-published author of car books along with also a vocal lobbyist within the causes of motoring. He also appeared regularly at motoring events, along with also especially loved the London to Brighton Run for pre-1905 veteran cars, the kind his father had done so much to bring to prominence. He drove them well, too, as I discovered during several trips as his passenger.
of which original Palace House collection, called the Montagu Motor Museum, soon grew too large for the entrance hall along with also moved to a nearby group of wooden sheds. The National Motor Museum name was adopted in 1972 after the collection had expanded to 300 vehicles along with also moved again, to the much larger purpose-built hall This specific occupies today.
Until the end of his life, Montagu always cited the museum’s success as the reason he had been able to remain owner along with also occupier of his ancestral home. He recounts the story in fascinating detail in his autobiography, Wheels Within Wheels, published in 2002.
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