GTW’s Emma Parkes mixes with the racing legends on a visit to the hugely group-friendly Silverstone Interactive Museum.
I TOOK A TRIP down memory lane – a fast lane at that – at Silverstone Interactive Museum, which sits right next to the famous
racetrack on a heritage site in Towcester, Northamptonshire. Not many attractions can greet you with views of a superbike leaning in a
racing angle, stirring the emotions of many a biker who fancies themselves as being able to get their ‘knee down’ – including my late father back in the day. This image brought a huge smile to my face and filled me with excitement of what was to come. An immersive visitor attraction which celebrates the past, present and future of Silverstone and British motor racing, there are 60 hands-on exhibits, iconic cars and bikes. Set over two floors, the starting grid on the upper floor sets the scene before releasing you full throttle into the story of Silverstone – a former RAF base and, before that, farmland and a home to monks (Stowe House remains on the site and is also worth a visit, see stowe.co.uk). A chance to build a 500cc bike will appeal to young, old and enthusiasts alike, and is just one of the interactive
elements of this super charged museum. Top tip: grab a selfie in the replica of the first ERA racing car, built at the time when crash helmets weren’t compulsory and drivers didn’t wear seat belts for fear of being trapped in the event of a crash! The ground floor takes you on a
motor racing journey from the 1940s to the present day. My favourite moment was standing next to Barry Sheen’s number 7 Suzi again after meeting him as a five-year-old back in 1977 at Silverstone with my dad, who was himself a racer. In tribute to the late Murray Walker
OBE you can have a go at being a sports commentator, and the ultimate lap is taken in the domed cinema (not for the faint hearted but enjoyable all the same). Lastly, you’re led out into the gift shop where a Formula One car
hangs from the ceiling. Leaving I felt as though I’d brushed shoulders with some true legends of motor racing, and it left me wanting
to do another lap. The staff were all friendly, knowledgeable and seemed to have a true passion for Silverstone. If you get chance, go!