Historian George ensures an exciting year for Rutland County Museum

George Phillps EMN-150701-115406001
George Phillps EMN-150701-115406001

2015 is gearing up to be an exciting year for Rutland County Museum with two events linked by one historian.

The museum in Catmose Street has taken in a historic 1899 Decauville motorcar on loan until spring 2015.

Extremely rare, the vehicle was originally owned by Rutland historian George Phillips and has the first number plate ever to be registered in the county - FP 4.

The car would have been used by Phillips in his work as inspector of weights and measures for Rutland, as well as allowing him to visit the families of servicemen who lost their lives in the First World War, as he compiled his book Rutland and the Great War.

Only six 1899 Decauvilles are known to exist and the museum has been given the opportunity to show the motorcar until April 2015.

It can now be seen in the Poultry Hall exhibition area as part of a new display on transport.

The vehicle is on loan to the museum from the Derek Ellis Trust and will appear at various classic motoring events once the exhibition comes to an end.

A limited edition hardback book has also been produced to commemorate soldiers from Rutland who lost their lives in the First World War.

The book, Rutland and the Great War, was originally published in 1920 as a tribute to those who left the county to fight in the conflict from 1914-1918 but did not return.

The work of Rutland historian George Phillips, the book contains biographies and pictures of the fallen, Rolls of Honour from local villages and schools, a review of the conflict and details of events on the Home Front.

George Phillips collected much of his information by visiting bereaved families, all of whom received a copy of the original book.

The intention behind the 2014 edition was not to make changes or updates but rather to produce a higher-quality publication with enhanced text and photographs.

Rutland and the Great War was launched by the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, Dr Laurence Howard, at Rutland County Museum in October and has since featured in the BBC’s Inside Out programme.

Only 1,100 copies of the limited edition hardback volume were printed, and are available to purchase from Rutland County Museum and Oakham Castle at a cover price of £20, with a standard edition available for £15.

All proceeds from the book will go to fund future First World War commemorations in the county.

The museum is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10am to 4pm and entry is free.

For more information, visit on events at the museum during the year visit www.rutlandcountymuseum.org.uk.

The George Phillips and Tony Traylen Awards, organised by the Rutland Local History and Record Society, will be held tonight at Oakham Castle at 7pm.

Following the presentation of the awards, there will be a talk by Nick Hill of English Heritage about Preston Manor House.