IT was a huge day for Taunton today as the new County Classics Motor Museum opened its doors for the first time after years of relentless hard work and preparation.

Former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond was in attendance to say a few words to the humongous crowd, before cutting the ribbon to unveil the high street museum.

Richard arrived in dramatic fashion, driving into the centre of the audience in a stunning Porsche, accompanied by County Classics founder Patrick Hawkins.

He was then accompanied through the crowd and onto the stage after being escorted under the barrier, which he joked "didn't have to be lifted very high".

The stage he spoke from was a classic pick-up truck which Patrick has had in his collection for quite some time.

Speaking on the new tourist attraction for Taunton, Richard said: "How fun to see this on a high street.

"The story in this one caught my eye - the timing of it for one thing.

"This is a museum, so yes it's looking back into the past but it also is very useful as we look into the future now.

"The car, the subject of this museum, is undergoing significant change, and we all acknowledge has to and will do, but at the same time it will still provide the service it always has for us, which is move us around our lives and enable us to do everything we want to do.

"The theme of this museum I found particularly relevant right now because it's about the cars that many of us will remember."

 He was joined on stage by Rebecca Pow MP, Cllr Mike Best (Chair of Somerset Council), and Mayor of Taunton Nick O'Donnell.