Thursford Collection

Thursford Collection The Thursford Collection is a museum located in Thursford, Norfolk. Founded by local man George Cushing, it is now known for the scale of its collection of steam engines, organs and fairground attractions, and its annual Christmas spectacular show, which draws over 100,000 people to the Norfolk countryside.The Thursford Collection is a registered charity under English law.George CushingGeorge Thomas Henry Cushing MBE was born at Thursford on 25 March 1904, the son of a farm labourer.
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After leaving school aged 12, he became a farmhand, but had developed a childhood fascination with steam engines. In 1920 he travelled to the King's Lynn Mart, and got a job driving a steam roller. Having bought a 1913 Aveling and Porter roller from the local council with savings of £225, Cushing set up his own sub-contracting business, which had expanded to 15 steam rollers and a steam wagon by World War II.Laurel FarmBy the late 1930s, steam was on the wane from commercial usage as diesel lorries became more popular. To Cushing, it was "as though the crown jewels were being sold for scrap", and he began to buy up redundant steam engines, storing and then restoring them at Laurel Farm, where he had worked as a child and now owned. This was also where he raised his own family of three boys with his wife Minnie.Thursford MuseumAs Cushing's collection grew, more enthusiasts travelled to Thursford to help restore and then view his collection. Thus, in the 1970s Cushing opened his museum in what was then a series of old farm sheds, and would personally tour the audience between exhibits, most often dressed in a countryman's flat cap, tweed jacket and muffler over baggy jumper, trousers and gumboots. He would then shake each visitor's hand, and ask departing guests with a blunt "Did yer loik it, then?"

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Thursford
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