Local Leyland News
Leyland Festival Welcomes the Return of an Icon
This year’s Leyland Festival parade, on Saturday 15th June, will welcome the return of an old favourite thanks to support from the British Commercial Vehicle Museum. The unique ‘Popemobile’ will once again lead the Festival celebrations through the town centre to Worden Park.
The Popemobile is truly a one-of-a-kind vehicle. It has become a firm favourite with visitors to the British Commercial Vehicle Museum, and also with festival-goers over the years watching the traditional Leyland Festival parade. In recent years, the Popemobile has not been able to join the parade, but organisers are absolutely delighted that the iconic vehicle will lead the parade once more.
Leyland Festival Committee Chairman, Tony Harrison, said: “The Popemobile is a historic, unique vehicle. It is the pride of Leyland and represents the town’s rich commercial vehicle heritage. We are delighted to have the Popemobile lead parade once again this year.”
The Mayor and Mayoress of South Ribble, Councillor Harry Hancock and his wife Marion, will be aboard the Popemobile as it leads the Festival parade.
The Popemobile is a truck-based vehicle, specially created by Leyland Motors for Pope John Paul II’s visit to the UK in 1982. The custom-made Popemobile was designed to give audiences a clear view of the Pope as he travelled around the country.
British Commercial Vehicle Museum Manager, Keith Moyes, said: “We are pleased to be able to support Leyland Festival by providing the Popemobile to lead the festival parade. It is one of many treasured exhibits in our family-friendly museum. We hope that as well as enjoying the Festival celebrations, visitors will also come to our newly refurbished museum and see what we have to offer.”
The British Commercial Vehicle Museum, on King Street, Leyland, reopened to the public in January 2019 following extensive refurbishments. The regeneration works, funded through a £1.8m grant from Heritage Lottery, transformed the interior of the museum and has helped to secure the Museums vast collection of commercial vehicle heritage for generations to come.
The Museum offers visitors a journey through time in motor heritage. Starting with the horse-drawn vehicles in the 1880s, progressing to the first steam-driven to petrol and diesel-powered motor lorries and buses, and then right up to modern day advanced technology. The museum houses over 60 vehicles from the different eras of vehicle development. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday 10.00am to 4.30 pm (closed on Mondays – except Bank Holidays).
Leyland Festival is being held on Saturday June 15th 2019. The Festival continues to offer great value for money and remains an affordable day out for all the family. Entry to the festival is £3 per person with 16s and under free. Advance tickets can be bought for just £2.50 and will be sold by a number of businesses across Leyland including: Paces & Laces, Peppermint Cottage, Poppies Flower Design, Leyland Market, The Market Ale House, Solicitors Direct, The Flying Pig Pizza, Hallmark Cards, La Corte and The Filling Factory.