22/11/2011 | by Alex Dick-Read
This just in from Coventry …
“Coventry Transport Museum may be situated as far from the coast as it’s possible to be in the UK, but last week it opened a major new exhibition that brings the sights, the sounds and swell of surf culture to the Midlands. Wheels & Waves is an exhibition of vehicles used by British surfers from the 1950s to the present day, along with a display of surf art, boards and memorabilia from the Museum of British Surfing, which runs at the Museum until 18 March 2012.
Vehicles on display at the exhibition include a range of VW Campers from 1962 to the present day, including a modern T2 on loan from Danbury Motor Caravans, alongside a Beach Buggy, a two-tone 1970s VW Beetle and a number of Woodies and hot rods.
All of the vehicles are imaginatively displayed on specially constructed ‘beach’ sets within the exhibition, and are complemented by a huge range of items from the Museum of British Surfing along with newly commissioned artworks by Coventry painter Paul Jordan.
Peter Robinson from the Museum of British Surfing said:
“The exhibition is actually genius, because surfers have been turning to novel forms of transport since at least the 1930s in that desperate quest to get themselves and their surfboards to the beach.
Anything from a modified pram, a skateboard, an old hearse or the ubiquitous VW camper – the vehicle often defines the surfer and has become an essential and vibrant part of beach culture – almost a cult within a cult, and so the Wheels & Waves exhibition is a great way of celebrating surfing here in Britain.”
Damon Hill, self-titled ‘Racing Surfer’ said: “Surfers are a little like motorcyclists. They are just outside the mainstream of society. No shirts and ties allowed. And you need to be able to go when the surf arrives. At the drop of a hat. Surfers’ cars and vans express this ‘free spirit’. They are also ‘home’ to the smelly wet suit, meted surf wax and damp towels. If you haven’t slept in the car on the beach, just to be first to the surf, you are not a surfer. Customising the van is all part of the experience. Unless you don’t have time, like me. Did you know you can get a 9’4” long board into a VW Golf? Well you can. Just.”
Find out more at www.transport-museum.com or 024 7623 4270″
Also, head to the Museum of British Surfing to find out more, here.