A brand new museum has opened in Ripon, which pays homage to a variety of vintage road maintenance vehicles. Gritters, spreaders and snowploughs have been carefully and lovingly restored, some dating back to when the magnificent machines were first used to battle against the elements.
Since 1969, Ripon has been the proud home of the family-owned firm Econ, the UK’s largest manufacturer of snowploughs and gritters. The firm’s 190 employees churn out a whopping 12 brand new vehicles every week and it shows an annual turnover of £25 million. So Ripon is the perfect place for the world’s first museum devoted solely to those big, friendly giants; the winter road maintenance vehicles.
A ‘Jubilee’ gritter has been unveiled as part of the museum’s launch; a 1972 ex-Army Bedford truck converted for gritter use, that has been tastefully painted in the nations colours red, white and blue. Local Conservative MP Julian Smith cut the ribbon on the new building, which sits appropriately next to an equally new showroom space for Econ’s latest products.
Ripon already has three other novel museums including a courthouse, workhouse and a prison and police museum. This new addition to the town is a perfect extension to a truly unique learning experience.