They began to discuss the possibilities of establishing a permanent museum of transport to focus this interest and energy.
In 1978 at a well attended public meeting in Aberdeen, the Grampian Transport Museum Association was formed. The new Association's main objective was to work towards the establishment of a Transport Museum and thereafter to administer and develop the Museum.
A strong lobby from the village of Alford and the availability of land around the old railway terminus located the fledgling project in its current home.
Fundraising then began in earnest, most notably in the form of the annual Alford Cavalcade, an ambitious vintage vehicle rally, held during July. The derelict carriage shed adjacent to the railway station was restored almost immediately and plans were laid for the reconstruction of the station building for use as a Railway Museum and for the construction of an exhibition hall to house road transport exhibits.
In May 1981 a pilot scheme was set up to determine the viability of the proposed museum. A temporary exhibition was housed in a factory unit close to the station. This proved successful and so plans forged ahead. A major breakthrough came in July 1981 when the E.E.C. and G.R.C. offered grants to cover the cost of building the new exhibition hall and restoring the station building.
Building work was completed in September 1982 and the Museum in its present form opened in April 1983. In that year 25,000 visitors were recorded and the GTM was suddenly an important local facility. A major extension was built in 1998 to house a new collections care facility, schoolroom, tearoom and workshop, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Scottish Museum’s Council (now Museums Galleries Scotland).
The site was developed and landscaped to include a road circuit, funded entirely by private companies and covered stand for outdoor events. More recently a second large building was added for the care of large objects, the Collections Centre, built in partnership with another charitable trust, the Aberdeen & District Transport Preservation Trust.
The Grampian Transport Museum is administered by The Grampian Transport Museum Trust. A private limited company, registered in Scotland No. 130066, with full charitable status. Charity No. SC 017625. It is a fully accredited museum and a four star visitor attraction (2011). You can view our Directors' report and Financial Statement for the Year Ended 31 March 2016.
Recent developments include construction of an improved reception, which was completed in the spring of 2016.