Glasgow's new transport museum is just three weeks away from opening its doors to the public for the first time.
The Riverside Museum is set to become one of Scotland's biggest visitor attractions and ahead of the opening, scheduled for June 21, members of the Scottish media were invited along on Wednesday for a sneak preview.
The beautiful £74m building, designed by Zaha Hadid and delivered on time and on budget, features all the old favourites from the former transport museum including steam engines, cars, miniature boats, motorcycles, and trams. Three thousand exhibits and 150 interactive displays will be hosted at the new museum, which will be free to all visitors.
World record breaking cyclist Graeme Obree’s bikes and racing attire from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and the late Colin McRae's Subaru Impreza which he drove to win the World Rally Car Championship are also amongst the items on show inside the colourful and spacious building.
One of the main attractions at the new venue will be Glasgow streets as they looked in the past. In the 1900s street, visitors will be able to walk through the exhibit, which looks like a film set, and explore the shoemakers, the pawnbroker, the Mitre pub or even Le Rendezvous Café from Dennistoun.
Another main attraction will be the Glenlee tall ship. It was launched in Port Glasgow in 1896 and is now the only large sailing ship built on the Clyde still afloat in the UK. It is moored outside the new museum and while it will cost to go on board it is hoped the ship will be a hit with tourists and locals alike.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, the leader of Glasgow City Council, dismissed suggestions that the location of the Riverside Museum and existing transport links to it will deter people from visiting.
He said: "Glasgow’s history as an industrial giant, a global leader in engineering and shipbuilding, is celebrated in an architectural masterpiece which shows that we remain at the cutting edge of design and technology."
The councillor added the museum is not about the stories of machinery, but about the people who worked and lived in the past. "It is their riveting story, not the story of rivets," he stated.
The museum was funded by Glasgow City Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Riverside Museum Appeal.