The Old Fire Station is back in business after an extensive overhaul – it looks fantastic – and it is currently hosting a pop-up museum: Museum from the Future, an exhibition that is the work of time travellers from 2042. These time travellers have good news; cars will soon become a thing of the past. In 2018 Oxford will become the first car-free city in the world, fancy that! Who’d have thunk it?
The exhibition starts with a three minute film (look out for a befuddled Jeremy Clarkson) showing a brief history of the car and how people finally got fed of them. To see the film you have to generate the electricity by pedal power (or watch it before you go on their website: www.museumfromthefuture.org).
Then take a tour of the artefacts: car parts from archaeological digs; toy cars; a car bonnet that was used as a riot shield to name but a few. There is a spot to pause in silence in memory of all those who wasted their lives in traffic jams on their way to the gym – to sit on exercise bikes. There is a detailed timeline on the wall and photographs from the future that show cars being put to better use: recycled to build bikes or being used as mini greenhouses. The latter particularly appeals to me as there is already quite a lot of stuff growing on my old banger; if I ever need Penicillin I just go out and lick the window seals.
The time travellers are extremely helpful, and they are easy to spot; they all wear multi-coloured Lycra leggings. Apparently leggings and narrow trousers will be de rigueur in the future to prevent the repetitive strain injury caused by constantly bending over to fit bicycle clips. Obesity and diabetes will be no longer a problem, and overseas travel will still be possible, albeit a little slower; a sail ship to Boston will take 16 days, so maybe summer holidays will be longer to factor the travelling time in – hurrah!
These pop-up exhibitions are brief as the time travellers have to get back from whence they came to refuel their time machines; I’m not sure what with, but it won’t be oil-based fuel as it’s all run out by 2042. So, the opportunities to see it are limited. It is at the OFS on Saturday 2nd June and on Monday 4th June. There are tours on the hour and storytelling from the future for children. Family events are between 10am and 5pm. At 5.30pm on Saturday there is an adult event planned: Building a common vision for a sustainable Oxford – representatives from groups working on sustainability will be sharing their ideas. It is well worth seeing if you can get there during the bank holiday.