The Black Country Living Museum's latest attraction is an accurate replica of Conway Garage, that stood near the Fighting Cocks in Wolverhampton, in Wolverhampton Road East. It was run by ex-top Sunbeam racing mechanic Alec Broome and his wife. For many years Alec worked in the famous Experimental Department at Sunbeam where the company’s successful racing cars were built, modified, and repaired.

In the 1920s Alec travelled both at home and abroad for Sunbeam, looking after the Grand Prix cars when they competed in some of Europe’s major racing events. Sunbeam became a household name in 1927 when the 1,000hp. car broke the world land speed record at Daytona Beach in Florida, travelling at over 200m.p.h. Alec was one of the team of mechanics who travelled to America to work on the car. He returned again in 1930 as a member of the support team for the less successful Sunbeam “Silver Bullet”.

Alec at Daytona in 1927.

Sunbeam’s Moorfield Works closed in 1935 and so Alec decided to set himself up in business. He opened Conway Garage the following year, and became well known in the area, repairing vehicles and selling petrol.

Both Alec and his wife worked long hours at the garage, which dominated their lives. After a long day at the garage Alec would often return home, late in the evening, to do the paperwork.

The garage was a well known landmark for about 50 years until its closure in the late 1980s, at a time when Alec began to suffer from the rigours of old age.

The garage has been faithfully recreated thanks to the memories of the museum’s Curator of Vehicles, Ray Jones. Ray and his wife Beryl became great friends of Mr. and Mrs. Broome, and Ray has many fond memories of his time spent at the garage. He also helped out there during the couples’ old age.

Alec’s own 16hp. Sunbeam saloon from 1932, his pride and joy, is also on display as part of the accurate recreation of a traditional garage. There are displays featuring Alec's time with the racing team at Sunbeam, and visitors will be able to view a copy of Alec's diary recording Sunbeam's greatest triumph, when Henry Segrave became the first man to drive a car at over 200 miles an hour.

Recreating the Garage

On March 20th, 2008 Alec's 16hp. Sunbeam saloon from 1932 arrives at the Museum, after several years residence in a barn.
By the beginning of April the museum's team of volunteers who restore and maintain the unique collection of locally made vehicles were beginning to return the car to its former glory.
By the beginning of May work was well underway on the petrol pumps, which were to become an important part of the exhibit.
On May 15th, Ray Jones, the Museum's Curator of Vehicles inspects the first section of the garage to be put into place.
Another view of the site as building work gets underway.
Work progressed rapidly, as can be seen in this view from May 22nd.
Another view from the same day.
By June 5th many of the roof timbers were in position and the building had started to take on a recognisable shape.
Another view from the same day showing the construction of the roof.
By the following week the larger roof timbers were in position.
This view taken at the beginning of July shows the building taking on its final form.
A view of the interior at the beginning of July.
On July 18th the building was nearing completion.
A view of the interior taken on July 18th.
The Official Opening

The official opening took place in the 4th week of July, thanks to the efforts of Paul Woolridge and his dedicated team from the museum, who completed the building in readiness for the big day.

The garage was opened by the museum’s Director and Chief Executive Ian Walden, who instigated the project. On the right are Alec Broome’s great nephew John Davies and his wife.

John has kindly loaned Alec's car to the museum and donated a number of photographs

Another view of the proceedings.
The guests inspect the new exhibit.


Some of the people who made it all possible.

Alec's car stands proudly outside its new home.
The first car at the pumps, Ray Salisbury's Morgan. Left to right: Ray Salisbury and Stan Davis.
Conway Garage can be seen at the museum, in-between the fairground and the school, opposite the tram and bus terminus. It is the latest attraction, forming part of the continuing, and exciting development of the Black Country village. It will be an attraction for many years to come, and is the first of many new additions that are planned for the near future.

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