When the Campbell Carriage Factory closed, almost overnight, in 1949, the contents — equipment, tools, templates, parts for carriages and sleighs, etc. — were left to gather dust for a couple of generations. Over 6000 separate artefacts were discovered, cleaned and catalogued when the Trust took over the building in 1998. These form the basis of the unique and fascinating collection of exhibits now on display in the Museum.
The ground floor of the Factory originally housed the Woodworking and Machinery rooms where all the components of the finished products were made by hand. The wealth of exhibits on this floor include examples of carriages and wagons built in the Factory and subsequently donated to the Museum. Photo: Shaun Cunningham
All wheels were hand-made and the extensive collection of hubs, spokes and rims, in various stages of manufacture, illustrate step-by-step how the wheels were constructed. Photo: Shaun Cunningham
In addition to carriages the Campbell Carriage Factory produced top-quality pungs, buggies, wagons and sleighs — anything from 45 to 60 vehicles per year. This beautifully constructed sleigh is one of the prize exhibits.
The Campbell family branched out into funeral undertaking and casket manufacture. This display features a wide range of hardware used in the making of coffins.
The upper floor housed the Storage, Assembly and Paint areas. Exhibits on this level include an “exploded” display illustrating how the numerous component parts were assembled to make a finished carriage.