International Museum Month: Don't miss this outdoor vintage motor show

The James Hall Museum of Transport will be hosting a curated outdoor vintage motor show for Joburg’s car enthusiasts, young and old, to celebrate International Museum Month on 28 May.

The James Hall Museum of Transport will be hosting a curated outdoor vintage motor show for Joburg’s car enthusiasts, young and old, to celebrate International Museum Month on 28 May. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – When last did you visit a museum? Do they even still matter, or are they just taking up space?

The James Hall Museum of Transport spoke to Eyewitness News about the importance of museums and their upcoming Creative Native Vintage Motor Show and Picnic as museums around the world celebrate International Museum Month in May.

“The importance of museums goes beyond the traditional function of preserving heritage. Today, museums serve as spaces for dialogue and conversations around relevant societal issues. But most importantly, museums today are giving the younger generation the power to re-write and tell their own stories within the context of history,” said Gaisang Sathekge, the museum's chief curator.

The James Hall Museum of Transport in Johannesburg is the largest and most comprehensive museum of land transport in South Africa. It was established by the late Jimmie Hall, together with the City of Johannesburg in February 1964.

“The museum has an extensive collection of elegant vintage cars, motorbikes, bicycles, steam engines, trams, trolleybuses, and locomotives amongst many other historical forms of transport.”

Some of Gauteng’s trendy vintage car clubs, such as CIAO (Classic Italian Auto Owners), and various other vintage car collectors have been invited to this thrilling showcase of Joburg’s urban culture.

Sathekge said the museum would love it if the general public could bring their vintage cars, motorbikes, and bicycles on the day to celebrate the history and culture of transport.

So, if you have that Benz Velo, that 1903 Ford Model A, a sexy Escort Mk1 Perana, or that old school carriage - the museum wants you to dust them off and go have fun with them.

“We have invited various vintage car clubs from all over the province, including meme era of the general public who also collect vintage cars to participate in this curated outdoor vintage motor show. There has been an overwhelming response from the public.”

Sathekge also said May was an important month to promote a museum-going culture in South Africa.

It is also an opportune moment to give communities the power to write their history and to re-imagine their own heritage at a time where culture is dynamic and constantly changing.

“It only makes sense to understand the evolution of movement in a city that has a rich history that spans across the pre-colonial era to post-apartheid. The historical narrative of transport in SA shows how far we have advanced technologically and that’s very encouraging for a developing country such as ours.”

According to the International Council of Museums, the objective of International Museum Day is to raise awareness about the fact that: “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace amongst peoples.”

The council further points out that museums have the power to transform the world around us. As incomparable places of discovery, they teach us about our past and open our minds to new ideas - two essential steps in building a better future.

The James Hall Museum of Transport said vendors who traded in vintage goods were welcomed.

Added to the vintage car show, guests can look forward to guided museum tours to view their valuable transport collection, artefacts and memorabilia and thrilling bus rides on the historic 1952 London Bus will also be on offer.

“Visitors are encouraged to bring their picnic blankets, cushions, and chairs to enjoy the activities of the day in a relaxed environment. The event is free to the public but visitors will need to register and redeem their free tickets on the Howler website. Public parking is available at the Pioneer Park just next door to the museum. Visitors are encouraged to use Uber as parking is limited.”

Sathekge said this family fun day would be accompanied by a vintage craft market, live bands and DJs and, to keep up with the theme of the day, vintage food trucks would be selling food and refreshments to visitors.

The line-up includes some of Jozi’s top and upcoming live bands and DJs such as BCUC, The Charles Gene Suite, Kitchen Mess, Kamo Matsoso, DJ Mamthug, DJ SediSoul, DJs Nikita & TopNotch and DJ Tataplz.

The James Hall Museum of Transport will be hosting a curated outdoor vintage motor show for Joburg’s car enthusiasts, young and old, to celebrate International Museum Month on 28 May.