VIDEO: Get a sneak peek at the newly renovated BC Vintage Truck Museum

VIDEO: Get a sneak peek at the newly renovated BC Vintage Truck Museum

Volunteers have been working around the clock to finish the $50,000 renovation of Cloverdale museum

The volunteers at the BC Vintage Truck Museum have been working around the clock to put the finishing touches on their $50,000 expansion project.

In April, the provincial government announced the museum would receive a Canada 150 grant for upgrades to the space, and the grant funded much-needed electrical upgrades, a new coat of paint, a fence for a new outdoor truck storage space, replacement ramps to get trucks in and out of the building, and other structural upgrades.

The volunteer-run museum is open to the public on Wednesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and that’s usually when the volunteers work as well. But for the last few weeks, according to Surrey Heritage Society (SHS) vice-president Noel Cleveland, they’ve been working eight hours a day, every day.

When the Cloverdale Reporter visited to take a tour of the newly renovated space, the museum was a hive of activity. Tex Bussey and Les McClure were working on an engine, a team of volunteers were negotiating where the lights should be placed on the fire truck for this year’s Surrey Santa Parade, and SHS secretary Anna Dean was putting the final ornaments on the truck-themed Christmas tree in the back room.

The change in the museum is immediately apparent. Long gone is the dimly lit storage space which made up half of the building’s footprint for years. Instead, visitors are greeted with the scent of fresh paint and nine “new” vintage trucks on display.

Cleveland acted as a tour guide, and he had a story for each truck. He showcased what made each unique – have you ever seen a chain-driven tow truck? – and explained the work that had been done on them, or was yet to be done.

The society moved the nine trucks over from storage to be displayed in the new space, and Cleveland said it was just in time, too.

“We kind of lost our [existing] storage,” he said. “So we went like crazy, painted the whole space, got the signs up.”

The entire renovation process has meant a lot of work for the volunteers. Changing the lighting over to LED, for instance, was very time consuming.

“We had to move things back and forth,” explained Cleveland, “and that takes time out of what you want to do.”

What they want to be doing is truck maintenance, working on the new additions to the collection, or getting their four entries for the Surrey Santa Parade ready, he said.

More change on the horizon

Another big change could be in the works for the museum, as the 1881 Town Hall, which is built into the space, is slated to be moved down 176A Street as a part of the Museum of Surrey’s expansion project.

The building that houses the BC Vintage Truck Museum was Surrey’s first museum, built in 1958 as a Centennial project. It was built around the town hall, which already existed on site at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.

The $10.3-million expansion of the Museum of Surrey is well underway, and part of their approved expansion plan is to bring heritage buildings from around Surrey to the site to join the Anderson Cabin in a “heritage square.” The 1881 Town Hall is one of those buildings.

The problem, as far as the BC Vintage Truck Museum sees it, is that, since support beams for the building run through the 1881 Town Hall, a portion of the museum would need to be demolished in order to remove the building without damaging it.

SHS secretary Anna Dean will be going before the Surrey Heritage Advisory Commission on Wednesday night to make “one last appeal,” she said.

“We are making a final attempt to request the 1881 Town Hall be left where it is,” she wrote in an email to the Cloverdale Reporter. “Failing that, we need them to take it out in a way that does not destroy our museum.”

Cleveland is hoping that the space could be salvaged, and a roof put over it, so that they can make use of the room. He explained that if that was possible, they could move some “old logging trucks” into the space.

In the meantime, the volunteers keep working. The renovation is nearly complete, and the museum volunteers hope to host a grand opening event early next year.

“It’s taking time, but it’s coming,” said Cleveland.

Visitors can also check out the changes SHS has made in other rooms of the building. In the front hall, there’s a 1910 International Auto-Wagon, on loan from the B.C. Pioneer Truck Society. Or find the museum’s first diesel truck, which was brought in just two weeks ago – a G.W. Ledingham truck, that was “built out of three trucks,” according to Cleveland. Or take a peek in the workshop, which has “everything from the 20s, 30s, 40s.” You can see calendars from 1932, a breakdown of a ‘31 Ford pick-up and vintage licence plates. Not to mention “all the old tools that your great-great-granddad probably used.”

The BC Vintage Truck Museum is located at 6022 176 Street. For more information, visit www.bcvintagetruckmuseum.org.

BC Vintage Truck MuseumCloverdaleHeritageMuseumSurreyBC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

VIDEO: Get a sneak peek at the newly renovated BC Vintage Truck Museum

VIDEO: Get a sneak peek at the newly renovated BC Vintage Truck Museum

Just Posted

White Rock and Surrey RCMP – along with police forces across the province – have launched their holiday CounterAttack campaigns. (Contributed graphic)
White Rock, Surrey RCMP CounterAttack campaigns underway

Enforcement ramps up to remove impaired drivers from cities’ roadways

Firefighters battle a house fire in Fleetwood on Dec. 2, 2020. (Photos: Shane MacKichan)
One man sent to hospital, two people arrested after Surrey fire

‘This was so frightening to see in person,’ witness posts after blaze at 160th Street and 89th Avenue

Statue of Lady Justice at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Judge finds Surrey RCMP breached two robbery suspects’ Charter rights

This was in connection with the robbery of the Ritecare Pharmacy in Surrey on Oct. 10, 2017

Surrey Hospitals Foundation president and CEO Jane Adams is officially one of “Canada’s Most Powerful CEOs” as one of the winners of the 2020 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award. (Submitted photo: Surrey Hospitals Foundation)
Surrey Hospitals Foundation’s Jane Adams is one of ‘Canada’s Most Powerful CEOs’

Awards recognize 106 ‘outstanding’ who ‘advocate for workforce diversity’

This year’s White Rock RCMP children’s clothing drive was the best yet, organizers say. (Contributed photo)
White Rock RCMP children’s clothing drive ‘best ever’

Month-long annual event wrapped up Dec. 1

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Photo by Dale Klippenstein
Suspect tries to thwart police in Abbotsford with false 911 call about men with guns

Man twice sped away from officers and then tried to throw them off his trail

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

Most Read