built to win you over
Loft Filtrations #2
Last respects given to hoarded items as they are finally despatched : Here are ads from an Evening Mail supplement to celebrate the NEC hosting the British International Motor Show for the first time, in 1978. At the hub of the UK road network and in the heart of the motor industry, the recently-opened National Exhibition Centre was an obvious choice of venue, with the Motor Show supposedly attracting a record-breaking 900,000+ visitors.
At the time it seemed as if half of the dads in my cul-de-sac were employed by British Leyland (or Austin Morris as it may then have been called) at the nearby Longbridge car plant. And every vehicle on the street (except one; next-door Sheila’s quirky 2CV) was British-built. Through net curtains anything else seemed Bohemian or strange. Today of course the reverse is true – even withstanding the fact that there must be the biggest concentration of end-of-the-line Rovers playing out their retirements in these neighbourhoods.
Finding this prompts a reminder to self about how important it is to continue to MAKE things, against the odds, in the great tradition of this region. We know now that neither ‘The Austin’ nor the Rootes group ‘won us over’ and we know that out East, Coventry’s Horizon was facing an inevitable rising sun. As the marketplace opened up to the cheaper/more efficient Japanese imports the lion’s share of the British car industry slipped into its terminal decline.
The MG Rover track closed at Longbridge in 2005 and the final Motor Show in 2008.
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Tags: Birmingham, British Leyland, Chrysler Horizon, manufacturing, Motor Show, NEC