Updated: Jun 19, 2019
By Tony Batchelor.
Whilst searching around for something to do on Father’s Day last week, Mrs B suggested we might go to a “motor museum” she spotted advertised on a signpost during a recent drive around mid-Kent.
A quick check on dear old Google, whatever did we do before Google, revealed the CM Booth Collection of Morgan cars and other items of motoring memorabilia could be found in Rolvenden, Kent, about an hours drive from Oxted.
My son and I set off in search of the museum, and this is what we found located in the centre of the village. If you see a building looking like this you just have to go in and look around, wow!
An Aladdin’s Cave for classic car enthusiasts
The collection is privately owned by Mr Christopher Booth and the Booth Family; most of the vehicles have been restored by Mr Booth himself who is still proactive in the restoration of Morgans and other vehicles. According to their website “the collection was first opened in 1972, with most of the vehicles on display in working order and several are used on the road each year”
Christopher Booth and one of his many pride and joys.
The building which contains the museum is not large by any means, but there is just so much to see you could in fact if you wanted to spend hours there just looking at the thousands of items on display. The following images provide a taster of what you will find.
The sight that greets you as you walk in through the entrance. The smell of oil and polish just hits you, wonderful.
I can only dream of having a man cave like this
If it was my man cave I would have a comfy swivel armchair in the middle so I could just sit and wonder at all this.
And the display goes on. Behind the van at the end of the building is a door leading to yet more exhibits ….
…… and here they are. There is a caravan behind the vehicle on the left; unfortunately I could not get the right angle to photograph it.
You do not have to be into the Morgan to appreciate the museum, what you need to appreciate is the quality of the vehicle restoration work carried out by Mr Booth and indeed others. Building cars from basic tubular frames and cutting out pierces of plywood to make panels, that is indeed skill.
Do I recommend a visit, well I think you would have gathered I certainly do. The entry fee is £4 for an adult and £1 for children (4 and 14 years). For more detailed information on the CM Booth Collection, opening times, location etc, see their website at http://www.morganmuseum.org.uk/
The drive from Oxted to Rolvenden is mainly reasonable country lanes, so a nice opportunity to take the classic car. If you wanted to extend the day a little you might be interested in the Kent and East Sussex Railway.
Steaming across the Kent countryside with Bodium Castle in the background
I did not visit this while I was in Rolvenden, but from the website it looks really good and so worth considering a visit while you are so close. They run steam trains mostly in July it would seem, when they are not steaming ahead they use a diesel engine.
If you are interested see the Kent and East Sussex website at https://www.kesr.org.uk/
When Summer finally arrives and the sun comes out for more than a couple of hours I might just pay another visit to the museum. I am fairly sure I missed something amongst the thousands of items on display, and I fancy a trip on the steam railway.