Introduction to the Transport & Power Menu

The Milligen Collection

Norfolk farmer George Edward Milligen (1910-2004) assembled a remarkable collection of automobiles, engines, large scale model railway locomotives, steam cars, fire engines and miscellaneous other mechanical items during his lifetime. After George died in 2004, his relatives sent most of it to be auctioned which has resulted in our awareness of this extensive and unique collection. Some of the car manufacturers are very obscure and I have added background information about them where possible.

My initial interest in George started from his ownership of an Edwardian steam yacht Wendorian - originally named Stephanotis and documented on the Stephanotis section of the website accessible under Ships .

Blackpool Trams in 1985

Trams completely disappeared from London by 1952 but I can remember one journey from Victoria Station to Catford to visit my great-grandmother. The London trams were replaced by a mixture of trolleybuses and diesel vehicles as a typical example of short-termism by politicians. They have been making a comeback of recent years but Blackpool is the one place in the UK that stuck with them.

Some years ago I was given an album of colour photos of Blackpool trams that were taken around 1985 -  just before I moved with my wife and children from Lichfield to Lytham St Annnes.

Maggie Thatcher was in her second term as PM; unemployment was running at over 3 Million; the miners' strike had just ended; there had been riots in Handsworth in Birmingham and PC Keith Blakelock had been killed during riots at Tottenham. HIV/AIDS was beginning to spread in the UK and the government AIDS: Don't Die of Ignorance campaign was not far ahead.

On a brighter note, the Live Aid concert took place at Wembley; Dire Straits released their Brothers in Arms album; the charity Comic Relief was founded and Nissan opened their car factory in Sunderland. Mobile phone services had just started and I got my first brick-sized mobile; the short-lived Sinclair C5 electric tricycle appeared; Eastenders had just started on TV; the first UK heart-lung transplant was carried out and Robert Ballard had discovered and photographed the wreck of Titanic - an old friend from Harland & Wolff acted as an adviser to James Cameron when he made his famous film 12 years later. Personal Computers (PCs) were available, but connections were unimaginably slow by modern standards, and there was no internet.

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