News: Opening day
Silloth Motorcycle Museum which pays homage to and celebrates Silloth’s motorcycling history has been described as a “great success” for the town and for Cumbria.
It opened to the engine sound of almost one hundred bikers who arrived in the town on Good Friday 2019.
Founded by local motorcycle legend Jim Snaith, who has put his vast personal collection of bikes, memorabilia and medals on display for the first time. The display also houses the Jim Curry Collection, donated to the museum by the man himself. Mayor of Silloth Tony Markley was among hundreds of people who turned out to show their support when it was officially opened by British sidecar champion Rob Fisher. Jim Snaith, a former Isle of Man TT champion, retired as a self-employed driving instructor through ill health and was unsure what to do with his motorcycle collection. He decided his collection was wasted sitting in his garage and set about creating a Motorbike Museum, something that would also celebrate the history of Silloth’s race track which existed between 1964 and 1982 and once hosted a British Championship meeting that was attended by a crowd of over ten thousand people.
The museum is the latest venture in the ground floor of his mother Margaret Snaith’s house. It was a cookware shop before that and she also ran it as a ladies clothes shop for a while. She is pleased to see Jim has managed to find another use for the space. Jim says “The plan is, it’s free to enter but I will gratefully accept donations as we are a non-profit organisation and any money donated is going to help upgrade and change the exhibition and also help with the museum overheads.” Jim encourages people coming on their own bikes as this will add to the attraction of the museum itself. Since its opening Jim has had a steady stream of visitors every day with weekends being most popular.
Jim has utilised social media to spread the word of the museum and has over 300 followers on the museum Facebook page and this has proved effective, with visitors to the museum coming from Glasgow, Ulverston and Manchester. The museum has a range of its own souvenirs which are something a little different to take home from Silloth.
Report by: Chris Irving