Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection, Bourton-on-the-Water

A quick summary

TV’s little ‘super hero car’ Brum can be found amongst a large collection of classic cars and motorcycles, caravans, original enamel signs and motoring curiosities at the Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection which provides a fascinating journey through the 20th Century.

Located in the picturesque village of Bourton-on-the-Water, the Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection provides a truly fascinating journey through the 20th Century.
The museum is overflowing with vintage car collections, classic cars and motorcycles, caravans, original enamel signs and an intriguing collection of motoring curiosities.

The bulk of the collection dates from the period between 1920 and 1950, with a particular focus on the 1930s, although in recent years the collection has been expanded to encompass the 1960s and 1970s.

The museum’s most prized exhibit is TV’s little ‘super hero car’ Brum who became famous through the show on children’s television. Brum’s adventures always start and end at the museum.

The museum is also home to more than 800 signs – mostly enamel signs related to motoring. It also has a substantial collection of petrol pumps, tools and other miscellaneous forecourt paraphernalia dating up to 1950. 

There is a huge selection of toys and games, including pedal cars, bicycles, aeroplanes and even a pedal snail. An activity roadshow is aimed at young children, with brass rubbing, feely boxes and giant jigsaws. 

The museum buildings encompass a former mill with several outbuildings, including the original ‘motor house’ of the neighbouring manor. 

The museum was founded in 1979 by Mike Cavanagh, a private collector who had amassed a substantial collection over a period of 20 years whilst living in South Africa. 

When he returned to England, he shipped his entire collection over with him and was lucky enough to find the Old Mill in Bourton-on-the-Water disused and up for sale. 
In 1999, the enterprise was sold to the Civil Service Motoring Association (CSMA), a not-for-profit leisure organisation with a long history of motoring. However, Mr Cavanagh’s collection remains the core collection of the museum.

The Cotswold Motoring Museum is open from 10am-6pm seven days a week until it shuts for the winter on December 7.


Address: The Old Mill, Sherborne Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BY

Phone: 01451 821255