Events : Celebrating Swindon’s wheels of Pressed Steel

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

On Saturday 9 July, a cavalcade of classic and modern cars will parade around Swindon’s unique Magic Roundabout. All these cars will have had their body panels pressed at the MINI Plant in Swindon, formerly known as Pressed Steel…

A cavalcade of classic and modern cars will be paraded around Swindons magic roundabout to celebrate to towns rich and varied engineering history.
A cavalcade of classic and modern cars will be paraded around Swindon’s Magic Roundabout to celebrate 175 years of the town’s rich and varied engineering history

Taking advantage of the roundabout being closed for routine maintenance, the parade will begin at around 7.00am on the Saturday morning and will see Minis, Rovers, Triumphs, Daimlers and other icons of the British car industry drive around in a choreographed display.

‘Swindon175 is not just about the railway history but the town’s industrial heritage over the years, and the pressing plant is very much part of that heritage. To have such motoring icons parading around the world-famous Magic Roundabout is the ideal platform to showcase our incredible history. Swindon Borough Council have been fantastic in letting us take advantage of this opportunity to bring a once-in-a-lifetime display to the town.’ said Swindon175 Project Manager, Caroline Black.

Chris Mark, General Manager of Plant Swindon added: ‘MINI Plant Swindon is celebrating its sixtieth anniversary this year and it is wonderful to be able to share this celebration not just with our employees, but also the local community. We have a fantastic team working here in Swindon and their skills and expertise has seen this Plant become an important centre of competence within the BMW Group. To showcase the huge number of cars that have been pressed at the plant in such a unique manner is a proud moment and a great privilege.’

Swindon Press Works - formerly Pressed Steel Fisher. Now operated by BMW group, the plant has formerly produced hundreds of thousands of panels and pressings for BMC > Rover Group vehicles.
Swindon Press Works – formerly known as Pressed Steel in its 1960s glory. Now operated by BMW Group, the plant has formerly produced hundreds of thousands of panels and pressings not only for BMC to Rover Group vehicles and current MINI, but also for the once-thriving locomotive production industry that the town became globally famous for

Tanya Field, a British car enthusiast, said: ‘I am delighted to be able to help bring cars with panels pressed at Swindon together to celebrate MINI Plant’s 60th Anniversary. My aim is to represent as many models as I can from the great and varied list of models which have had their panels pressed at Swindon over the past 60 years.’

Once the display has finished, the cars will travel in convoy to Steam – the Great Western Railway museum for a static display which will be open to the public until approximately 9.45am. After that, an option will be there for people to attend the press works family day gathering The Magic Roundabout will be closed to traffic from 10.00pm Friday 8 July until 8.00am on 9 July.

If you would like to participate in the event, email Tanya Field: tanyafield@supanet.com

For more information about the event visit swindon175.com

Mike Humble

Upon leaving school, Mike was destined to work on the Railway but cars were his first love. An apprenticeship in a large family Ford dealer was his first forray into the dark and seedy world of the motor trade.

Moving on to Rover and then PSV / HGV, he has circumnavigated most departments of dealerships including parts, service and latterly - the showroom. Mike has owned all sorts of rubbish from Lada to Leyland and also holds both Heavy Goods & Public Service Vehicle licences, he buys & sells buses and coaches during the week. Mike runs his own automotive web site and writes for a number of motoring or commercial vehicle themed publications

3 Comments

  1. Don’t forget that another well known Swindon company from the past was Garrard, manufacturer of high quality record turntables that were used by the BBC and recording studios from the thirties until the end of the seventies, and whose turntables and stylii were used in many radiograms and music centres of this era. Japanese competition forced them out of business by the end of the seventies, but like railway locomotives, steel pressings for cars and Hondas, Garrard were a big part of Swindon’s manufacturing history.

  2. A choreographed displayed around the Magic Roundabout? I can see it ending in tears!

    A good idea though, it’s easy to forget about Swindon’s importance to the British car industry, and that it’s still going

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