Donation Amount

History  imageHistory  imageHistory  image
History of the museum building

The building within which the North West Museum of Road Transport is housed was
constructed in 1881 for the town's horse-drawn trams. It continued in use for public transport purposes, housing steam and electric trams, trolleybuses and motor buses, firstly-by St Helens Corporation and latterly by Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive until 1985. The museum society was able to obtain a lease on the premises, which had always remained in the ownership of St Helens Council, and moved into the now rather run-down building in 1986. In 1994 the poor condition of the roof meant that the facility had to be closed to the public, although members were still able to work on the exhibits at times. A huge effort saw the building renovated and the roof replaced, resulting in the museum reopening in 2006. Grants had been obtained from the Single Regeneration Budget, European Regional Development Fund, Neighbourhood Renewal Funding, North West Coalfields Community Campaign and the DTI, together with a substantial contribution from the museum itself.
Comet imageComet image
We are delighted to welcome to the museum collection a 1962 Leyland “Comet” lorry with a most interesting and unusual history, kindly donated by John Mason of Liverpool and beautifully restored in their well-known blue and cream livery. It was originally a flat- platform lorry built to carry “lift vans” or containers as they are now known, and could tow a matching drawbar trailer. However, it was possible to substitute a removal van body instead, making this an early example of what became known as “swap-body” vehicles. To accommodate the pantechnicon body, it was necessary to have the lorry fitted with a specially-designed cab, the only one of its type, built by Woodward's of Southport. This vehicle is therefore truly a part of North-West transport history, having been designed, built and operated in what was then all still Lancashire. Later in its career it was shortened and converted to a recovery vehicle, remaining in service until 1991, when it entered preservation, being subsequently returned to John Mason in 2013 with some 15,000 miles covered in its “retirement.”

The firm of John Mason pre-dates mechanical transport and began in business with horse- drawn wagons in the late 19th century; longer-distance work was done using the services of the new-fangled railways. The first motor vehicles arrived in 1921, but horses were not finally phased out until not long before the start of World War II. Mason's business continued to expand and became an international haulage firm, remaining in the hands of the same family until February 2021 when it was finally sold in a management buy-out.

The new owner of the business was aware that the lorry we have just acquired was sitting in the workshops doing nothing so contacted the North West Museum of Road Transport to see if we would be interested in giving it a permanent home. Needless to say, we were thrilled and honoured to accept this most interesting lorry into the collection and we are very grateful to John Mason International Removers for passing it into our care. It arrived with a large quantity of fascinating documents relating to its past and these will be added to our archives to document its history.
The lorry is on display in the museum, complete with a dummy load in the form of a large wooden crate labelled for export to the USA. Film fans of a certain age will find the consignee of particular interest.

John Mason of Liverpool​​​

Privately owned bus collection.

Learn More

The Museum owned bus collection.

Learn More

Museum owned commercial and fire fighting equipment

Learn More

Private owned cars, light commercial & emergency vehicles

Learn More
Visit image
The museum is in the heart of the town, a couple of minutes walk from the bus station and St.Helens Central railway station.

Admission fees are -
£6.00 for adults & carers
Accompanied children FREE (under 16)
Disabled FREE

Opening Times
The Museum is open Sundays from 11:00 to 16:00

Refreshments, Tea, Coffee, Cold drinks and snacks will be available.

Free Vintage Bus rides every Sunday (Providing staff availabilty)

On event day’s you can also visit the model railways of RAINHILL M.R.C which are housed within the museum.

RainhillMRC Web Site

We are a dog friendly museum and welcome responsible dog owners.

Travelling to the museum by train, then why not use use...

School Visits

We welcome school groups throughout the year

If you are interested in bringing your school children to visit the museum during the week, please contact Keith Naylor at keith@nwmort.co.uk The cost is only £2.50 per child (teachers, class room assistants & parents are free) The cost includes up to 4 information packs for the school to take away, including road, rail & canal transport systems.

Fund Raising  image

Help YOUR museum with 

"Every Penny Counts"

AmazonSmile is a way for customers to support the North West Museum of Road Transport.

Amazon shoppers who start at "smile.amazon.co.uk" will find the same Amazon they know and love, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the price to the North West Museum of Road Transport.

Take this link to Smile Amazon and start helping your museum....Link to Amazon Smile 

Thank you for your support.

Sorry, registration has ended.

Christmas Fun Day

  • Date: 25-11-2023 10:00 - 26-11-2023 10:00

Past Events

Classic Car Show 05 Nov 2023
Autumn Bus Running Day 15 Oct 2023
Family Fun Day 20 Aug 2023
Classic Car Show 28 May 2023
Easter Sunday Family Event 09 Apr 2023
Heritage Bus Running Day 05 Mar 2023

NWMORT on Social Media

Check It Out Today!



The museum has a library of over 1000 articles. We are adding a new category, Service & Parts Manuals. Select the link to display the catalogue.

Learn More

Our New Museum Shop

Take home a memento of your visit

BRS is coming home

After ’57 'years, ‘BRS’ is coming back to St.Helens.

Read More
The Workshops

A great deal of effort is given by volunteers to keep the museums fleet on the road. The workshops at the rear of the museum currently house a number of vehicles which are going through various stages on maintenance. From a simple service to a complete engine replacement, the work is all done by volunteers.

Read More

Restoration of the fleet is an on going project for the team of volunteers. The following pages will you keep you updated on progress.

Read More
"Classic Car Day" -  Update

Another very successful day, the Classic Car event with North West Casual Classics

Read More

La France

This car is the oldest motor vehicle in the museum, and one of the most unusual. It is a La France, built in 1914, and was originally built as a fire engine, being based in Tennessee and later California. The petrol engine is 14.5 litres (huge by today's standards), and the rear wheels are connected by a chain drive.

La France

A big thank you to the 367 attendees who joined us at the Autumn Running Day

Follow this link for a short video of the day

Membership Application

Membership Application

This is an exciting time for the Museum, and we need your support! If you would like to help, you can become a member by completing the membership application. We value the support of all our members, and if you would like to become actively involved as a 'working member', there are plenty of opportunities to work on all types of vehicles.

Learn More
  • North West Museum of Road Transport, 51 Hall Street, St.Helens, England, United Kingdom
  • Registered Charity No 513262