Friday, 13 April 2018

Abingdon's Finest

MG has always played a prominent role in British social history, and its cars have always been enthusiastically praised. A home-grown concept, MG became internationally successful, largely due to the uniqueness of the factory; a family unit that supported innovation, race craft, had a talented design team, and provided opportunities for it's employees. The success of the factory propelled the small market town of Abingdon, in Oxfordshire, onto the global map, and made MG into an international brand that has survived almost a century of change. 


We have a number of books on MG at Abingdon, such as MG's Abingdon Factory and Don Hayter's MGB Story, but the real stand out has to be our newest book MG, Made in Abingdon. An active volunteer of Abingdon County Hall Museum, author Bob Frampton has collected the memories of many of the men and women who worked at Abingdon, to provide an intimate and unique account of what it was like to work in MG's Abingdon factory. 

 This book is proving to be a popular buy, and with reviews like these, its easy to see why!

"This is social history at its best,  [it's] as much about skilled trades, shop floor romances and lower-league football as making cars." – Classic Cars



"We are used to reading about the big names in MG's history, but this book gives voice to some thousands who worked in the Abingdon factory, helping to create the cars we love ... it opens a window on aspects of MG life that rarely get an airing in public." – MG Enthusiast

It's Bob recognition that the most important aspect of MG's success was its team – tea-boys and girls, the shop floor workers, the engineers and racers, the apprentices and management – that makes this book such an interesting read. Factory life is often overlooked and unremarked on, but the story of MG's factory is an important reflection of the British motor industry from the perspective of the shop floor work force.

From memories of the production line, to recollections of racing incidents, the previously untold story of MG from the men and women who worked in the Abingdon factory is revealed for the first time. Yes, it's certainly a nostalgic look at an historic marque, but more than that, it's an historically important record of a unique period in social history.

Image credit British Motor Heritage Museum


From the 14th of April until the 24th of June, Abingdon County Hall Museum will house a new exhibition entitled "Automotive Design: Innovations at MG Abingdon". Using recent donations from MGB lead designer Don Hayter, the museum will celebrate the importance and practice of good design in automotive production, and how MG made innovative steps forward in this industry.

This weekend sees the exhibition opening, and to market he occasion, Abingdon County Hall Museum will be hosting a book signing event with Bob Frampton this Sunday (April 15th)! For more information, you can contact the museum directly.


So, if you are local to Abingdon, or are an MG enthusiast, make sure you check out the Automotive Design exhibition, and don't forget to get your copy of MG, Made in Abingdon from our website