Vintage vehicles and aircraft feature in mega display at North East Land, Sea and Air Museums

Around 1,000 visitors were expected to feast their eyes on a classic display of vintage vehicles at a Wearside museum this weekend.

Guests to the North East Land, Sea and Air Museums (NELSAM) could take a closer look at more than 60 displays as part of the venue’s classic car show, which made its return after the Covid pandemic on Sunday, August 7.

Some of the day’s vehicles – which included a classic blue Cadillac, Singer and Clan Crusader – dated as far back as the 1930s, with owners travelling from Berwick and County Durham to take part in the show.

David Charles, Museum chairman, told the Echo that around 1,000 visitors were expected over the course of Sunday, with NELSAM oversubscribed for the number people wanting to bring their classic cars for display.

Dispays at the NELSAM classic vehicle show on Sunday, August 7.

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    NELSAM houses aircraft dating back to the First World War up until the present day, and the museum is also home to tanks, trams, a maritime section and a soon-to-be opened display of cars produced over the history of Wearside’s Nissan plant, which was officially opened by then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1986.

    David said: "We are really pleased with the turn-out and are hoping to make this a biannual event.

    "It's nice to see everyone out again after Covid and our footfall is actually up 15% since we opened after the restrictions ended."

    He added: “One of the cars which particularly interests me is the Clan Crusader, as it was built in Washington during the 1970s - 10 years before Nissan arrived."

    NELSAM Chairman David Charles at the museum's classic car show on Sunday, August 7.

    Former airline pilot Graham Smith, 71, was there on the day with his 1934 Austin 10/4.

    Graham, of Durham City, said: "The car would have cost £172 back in 1934. It has a top speed of around 45mph.

    "In those days this would have been a luxury item and a real rarity for people to own. I'm a member of a couple of clubs which is how we found out about today's event and we drove up the A19 in her this morning.

    "She still has the old start-up handle and always attracts a lot of attention wherever we go."

    Former airline pilot, Graham Smith, 71, from Durham City, with his 1934 Austin 10/4.

    He spent two years restoring the vehicle after recovering it from a barn in Bristol.

    Melissa Jardine, also from Durham City, was there with her 1973 Silvershadow Rolls Royce, purchased in April this year.

    The vehicle is the same type and colour as a model she had in her younger days and thanks to restoration work, Melissa, 43, now estimates the vehicle to be worth more than £20,000.

    She added: "I love classic Rolls Royce cars because of the quality of the construction. At that time Britain built the best.

    Melissa Jardine, 43, from Durham City, with her 1973 Silvershadow Rolls Royce.

    "I asked to be parked next to the Spitfire as they were also constructed using Rolls Royce engines and helped us to win the war."

    And the museum’s Vulcan bomber appeared to be one of the day’s most popular attractions, with families joining the queue for a chance to climb aboard.