Denbigh's time machine rises from the ashes!


Kirstie Dolphin

The time machine in question is in Denbigh and is so packed full of classic cars, vintage products and memorabilia that you might even think its bigger on the inside.

The 50s museum is part of the Cai Dai Trust, which is a non-profit making charity and supports vulnerable socially disadvantaged adults.

The museum, which was destroyed during a deliberate fire in December 2009, is open for business again on Nantglyn Road.

A new building has been built to replace the old barn that previously housed the museum before the fire.

Shereen Lunt, Denbigh councillor and manager of the museum, has been working  hard to get the attraction back on its feet.

She said: “We’ve spent £300,000 so far on rebuilding the museum which has come from insurance, grants and money raised by the community.

“But we do need to raise more money.”

Cai Dai is holding a carboot sale, in conjunction with Vintage MaryDei, a social enterprise in support of carers based in Denbigh, to help raise money for both charitable organisations.

The indoor carboot sale is being held this Sunday, April 27 from 10-3pm at the 50s museum. To prebook a table for £10 contact Cai Dai on 01745 817004 or Vintage MaryDei on 07511429566.

Mair Jones, founder of Vintage MaryDei who works closely with the trust, is keen for Denbigh residents to visit the museum on Sunday and see the hard work that has gone into the rebuild.

Mair said: “It’s like a little community down here, it’s a way of life.

“People just fall in love with the place. There is something amazing about this area.

“Volunteers and Shereen have been working so hard for this and trying to get all the grants.

“People need to see all the hard work that is happening here. We held a very successful Rhodd Dinbych Festival here last summer and we want to host a lot more events.”

Cai Dai has had grants from the Welsh Government, Tudor Trust and many others including money donated from the public.

One of the key items which was saved from the fire was a lorry used during the great train robbery.

Shereen said: “We lost pretty much everything in the fire. The lorry was slightly damaged, if it was in a different position at the time of the fire we could have lost it completely.

“There’s a train robbery exhibition going on at Grampian Transport Museum and they asked to borrow the train and they’ve even done it up for us so we’ll get it back pristine.”

The unique museum includes various themed areas. There are also various classic cars to view including in a 50s style garage.

There’s also 1950s rooms set-up as a replica kitchen, living room and bedroom, with impeccable attention to detail, as well as a 50s shop which is based on a former shop on Smithdown Road in Denbigh.

There are new parts to the museum as part the rebuild, including an activity hall costing £30,000 for community groups to use.

Sparrow Harrison, founder of the trust was also founder of Denbigh Boxing Club. The club will now use the sports section of the museum to train.

Shereen said: “Community groups are welcome to use the space. It’s state of the art facility.

“We want people to use the building as long as they go along with the ethos of Cai Dai, by making it available and affordable for local people and the community and make sure no one is turned away.”

The trust is more than just a museum, it helps and supports 19 beneficiaries, including people with learning difficulties, the homeless and people new out of prison to help them get back on their feet.

Shereen said: “We have people that come here with just what they can carry so we try help them get back on track and mix within the community.

“We get referrals for people out of prison and they help out here and work with the other volunteers, it gives them perspective of life.”

A very short distance away is a community orchard and picnic area.

The museum needs another £30,000 to finish the building work before an official re-launch.

See full story in the Free Press

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