ONE of Scotland’s earliest motorcars has returned to its first home in Biggar.

In March last year Biggar and Upper Clydesdale Museum acquired a 1900 Albion Dogcart – one of the first models produced by the Albion Motor Car Company in the early 20th century.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the car has only now gone on display at the venue, where its strong connections with the town are also highlighted.

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Elaine Edwards, manager/curator of the Biggar and Upper Clydesdale Museum said: “This is an iconic vehicle which fits perfectly into the part of our museum where we have reconstructed street scenes of Victorian and Edwardian shops and businesses which once served Biggar so well: the apothecary, bootmaker, printer, dressmaker, clockmaker and telephone exchange for example.

“It is the icing on the cake. Its arrival has generated enormous enthusiasm in the town and amongst Albion enthusiasts.

“We can anticipate a wave of visits from those who visit Biggar on an annual basis to attend the Albion Vintage Car Rally.”

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The model now on display in the museum was first owned by John Lamb Murray, an architect who lived near the town.

When owned by the Murray family, the Dogcart was driven by John Lawson.

Mr Murray’s son, Thomas Blackwood Murray co-founded the Albion Motor Car Company in 1899 with his brother-in-law Norman Fulton.

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John Murray owned the Albion until 1906 when he sold it. By 1912 the car was housed at the Motor Museum in London where it remained until 1922 when the collection was dispersed.

The Albion was then gifted to the National Museums Scotland (then known as the Royal Scottish Museum).

The Albion has been loaned to the Biggar and Upper Clydesdale Museum by the National Museums Scotland, where it had undergone a series of restoration works including corrosion removal, leather upholstery was repaired, and paintwork was retouched.

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A total of 186 hours were spent restoring the Albion Dogcart.

Meredith Greiling, senior curator of transport at the National Museums Scotland, said: “The Albion Dogcart is one of the most important vehicles in the national collection.

“We are delighted to have conserved it to a condition where it can be displayed and we’re particularly pleased to be bringing it ‘home’ to Biggar where its first owner came from.”

Ms Edwards added: “We are very appreciative of all the work carried out by National Museums Scotland in conserving the car and lending it to us, and also the support of local engineering company James A. Cuthbertson of Biggar Ltd in helping to bring this project to fruition.”