Yearly Archive 14th July 2021

Why Visit The Collection?

With staycations now becoming the norm, the ‘Abingdon Collection’, situated just outside of Omagh, has seen a massive growth in visitor numbers since reopening in June. The most common opening comment is,‘we never knew you existed’ and that is understandable as we tend not to advertise the Collection widely. Word of mouth and positive reviews on search engines, like TripAdvisor have made this one of the ‘must visit’ attractions of 2021 and has attracted hundreds of new visitors to the area.

So why do people visit the Collection?

To be honest, the vast majority of visitors do not have a clue what this Collection is all about and take a jump into the unknown by booking the facility often in conjunction with a trip to the Ulster American Folk Park, which is only one mile away. Comments range from ‘I thought my husband or partner might enjoy it’, to ‘We thought that it would be an unusual day out for the kids’.

When families do come, I often see a change in the way both children and adults inter react in what is not just a learning experience but also an enjoyable and unique step back in time. Older visitors remember cars travelled in as youngsters, of vehicles bought, sold or crashed, of learning to drive in their father’s car and of motorbikes and mopeds raced too fast on poor roads.

The variation of age is reflected in the conversations about what was the best car of their time. From Hillman Imp, Ford Anglia, Mini, MGB, to Mazda, RS2000, Manta and BMW.

This is not the sole preserve of the male to talk cars and some of the best informed and enthusiastic visitors have come from the female quarter who tell tales of cars owned, cars sold and cars they wish they had kept. In fact female visitors often surprise even their partners with the knowledge they have on vehicles, but this should come as no shock to anyone. Eyes of every age group can light up as they see cars, motorcycles, toys, vintage TV’s, Chopper bicycles, radios, advertising, and items from their childhood.

A trip through the 1950’s to the 1970’s leads you back into the dark world of 1940 and one of the largest World War Two displays in private ownership. This is an educational experience which challenges the senses and pulls few punches in the displays of items, often now unseen in the larger museums. Children and adults are sensitively taken back to a time that many would want to forget. The talks are geared towards the particular age group of visitors and parental discretion is required, but the images on display reflect a time when Great Britain and indeed Ireland were on the brink of invasion.

If you want a day out with a difference then this hidden gem in the heart of the Sperrins is for you.

To book a visit to The Abingdon Collection contact Phillip on 028 8224 3373 or 07715 455170.