News : Reunion at Longbridge

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Keith Adams

Ex-Longbridge worker? Then come to the reunion.
Ex-Longbridge worker? Then come to the reunion.

The current management at Longbridge is opening its doors for what it is hoping to be a trip down memory lane for ex-workers at what locals for years called ‘The Austin’. The reunion takes place on 30 November and the organisers are hoping it will be one special days and are inviting everyone to bring in memorabilia to share with colleagues during the day-long event at the Sales Centre located near the factory main entrance, formerly known as Q-Gate.

They’re also offering test drives of the MG6, as well as inviting everyone present to sign the ‘memories book’.

If you’re ex-Longbridge, drop the guys at MG a line at info@mg-salescentre.co.uk. Further information on the flier or at MG’s Facebook page.

Longbridge reunion on 30 November - and you're invited
Longbridge reunion on 30 November - and you're invited
Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

62 Comments

  1. Yes, I`m sure many of those redundant workers, many of which were thrown on the scrap heap in 2005 would simply love to wander round what’s been left of the once great Longbridge site.

    No doubt the order books will be bouyant!

    Sorry for apearing harsh.

  2. A lot of people left well before 2005 but I think it would be sad for many to see how the biggest car factory in Europe with all its history has been reduced to a small operation. All the war time history such as the flight sheds and tunnels have been destroyed and so much history. I am a real fan but not sure if I would want to attend. All the broken promises from Goverment about creating 10,000 jobs on the site and all that has been moved is Bournville College with no new jobs at all.

  3. I guess some will not be interested in this invitation but at least MG are holding out an olive branch to some former workers of MGR.   Having said that, some could find it nostalgic to see whats left, meet old colleagues and re-kindle memories – like a school reunion.In light of recent criticism of MG Motors and the MG6 perhaps this is at least a step in the right direction?   Anyway I wish the event well…

  4. I drive past what was the Longbridge plant last week – it’s all but disappeared! Why on earth would an ex-employee want to go back to see the factory they may have spent their careers working in (and possibly those of their fathers too), reduced to either rubble or toytown industrial units / shops (oh yeah, we need more!!) and ickle stupid flats! Preposterous! SAIC – get a grip, start marketing your product, convince us that you’re serious, or sod off back to China………

  5. how pathetic,as if the 6500 former employees would like to walk around and see the way saic  have pillaged the site and stripped it to the bare  bones , i begin to wander what planet these people are on nice touch at the end though  to let you take a drive in the new mg6  GREAT SALES PITCH

  6. This is a cheap and cynical marketing ploy by a company with no serious interest in manufacturing in Birmingham. If I were one of the ex employees I think I would ask all sorts of questions about where the press shop, body assembly, paint shop, engine assembly and assembly line are now… I’m as interested to see genuine manufacturing and assembly in this country as anyone and that’s why I now drive a Land Rover!

  7. Well the pressing plant is where it’s always been – Swindon. Now owned by the BMW Group making body panels for MINI’s.

  8. We do have plenty of ex-Longbridge people on here (I don’t count myself – I worked there for two months on an IT contract, so it doesn’t really count), and it would be interesting to get these guys’ opinions.

  9. Quote Dennis: “Well the pressing plant is where it’s always been – Swindon. Now owned by the BMW Group making body panels for MINI’s.”It certainly won’t be providing any panels for Longbridge, what with the bodyshells arriving from China fully assembled, painted and trimmed!

  10. Well I previously worked in Powertrain for 4.5 years ( east works ) I went on a tour of the cabs when the tf was re-run it was bare as bones then and a lot of unsold cars lying around. There really is not a lot left now of the old works as I’m sure you all will know. However if they were offering a tour of the tunnels I would be very interested only managed a little look one friday night sneaking around the old r&d

  11. i worked there for many years 20 plus and i also have been involved as a contractor on the mgtf in the paint til being made redundant again by saic   and make no mistake i went into cab 1 when they were building the le 500 and even then tools were lying around where ex workmates had left them the day of closure and to this day the offices and toilets above the far wall where the system 1 rover 25 track was recently taken down  are totally derelict  and unuseable as well as the offices opposite the assembly line where the original heirarchy , the tony sergeants /of this world used to rule the rover regime in the 80s, the good old days , many friends who are employed there built the mgtf in overcoats due to no heating ,during the winter , gathering heaters from around the factory what people had left after the closure  to heat there rest rooms.

    yes money  has been spent on the design block but to be fair the foundations were always there. the manufacturing side within cab 1 has been decimated to a poor shadow of its former self  ive read many items on mg on this site some positive a lot negative  as a former employee  i would like to say my advice  for the  majority of former emloyees is  let your memories  be memories dont be fooled like many have.

  12. my memories step from the day i walked into longbridge under the days of derek robinson, micheal edwards/the riots in the 80s til the day i left in april  2005 , many owners from  british leylandhonda /.tata /bmw the phoenix four and many friends made from all walks of life ,all nationalitys ,characters you only meet once in a lifetime ,the laughs ,the tears , the smiles the sad times but all in all great memories that i wouldnt swop for ne thing.

    asking  former employees to share the memories of a once world class manufacturing base with a car manufacturer that turned its back on them and then asset stripped the leftovers 6yrs ago is nothing short of distastefu and i for one will not be attending this shameful offer l

  13. I do wonder about the whole strategy of MG UK, I know damn well I’d not want to go back to visit a company that kicked me in the nuts and made me redundant with no warning, and I’m not sure many other people would too. OK there may be a few that may want to see what was going on inside there now, but I have a feeling it won’t be a busy day.

  14. “See the future of MG and the MG6…”      So the MG6 is not the future of the company then?  Makes you wonder what is.  Technical centre retained and the rest of the site redeveloped into “executive” flats, probably.

  15. I cannot see what people are moaning at.If you are an ex worker from Longbridge you have a chance to visit the place again.If you do not want to then stay home.People in Britain sure do like a good moan.

  16. I cannot imagine that the ex-employees I know will go back for this reunion.  SAIC let the company go to the wall after giving them false hope in order to rob the IPR for the designs. Then, once MG-R collapsed they take the tooling.  Quite sickening in many respects.

  17. I have to say, I think this is a perfect opportunity for
    people to gather and perhaps get a little closure as they were so rapidly
    booted out back in April 2005. For people to say that they were given no warning
    is only partly true, the company “as was” was on its knees for years
    and everyone in the UK knew it, the staff most certainly should have known it
    for all the many reasons which no longer need to be repeated. I know it was a horrible
    event for people but they weren’t the first people to be made redundant from
    one industry or another and they certainly won’t be the last. Instead of some
    of the vitriol now turned towards SAIC for something they weren’t responsible
    for, perhaps this is a chance for some people to finally move on and embrace
    the prospect of instead remembering the good times and sharing those thoughts
    with the people they once called colleagues.

     

    @Lord Sward – SAIC did nothing of the sort, MGR led SAIC up
    the garden path without revealing the perilous state of the company. It’s funny
    how people were so prepared to work for Longbridge for all those years despite
    being dumped on from a great height time and time again, and yet now, a new
    business completely unrelated is getting the flack for daring to think that
    some people may just wish to take a trip down memory lane for what they clearly
    recognise was an iconic and important plant. And let’s not forget that even
    when MGR and Rover were alive they had let most of the place fall into complete
    disrepair, so at least people don’t have to see that anymore. Selective memory
    I think it is called…

  18. @ Marty B – Are you serious? A kick in the teeth would be, “we know some of you have a lot of feelings for the place and what it stood for, but we won’t ever let you past the gates and instead we will sneer at you from behind the fence”.  What they are doing is perfectly right, no one is being forced to go, if you don’t like the idea then fine, but I really fail to see why SAIC are being made out to be monsters here? Does the British public have a habitual problem with its collective memory these days because it sure as hell seems people njoy re-writing it to fuel their own twisted views of reality.

  19. I do feel that SIAC are taking a kicking here, when they have done nothing wrong, it was not them that caused MGR to go to the wall, like any good company would they took advantage of a bad situation, they could have striped it completely and took it all to China, but they have not.they have invested many tens of millions of pounds in the UK, given back jobs, and new product, why is it difficult for people to give them a chance, re installing teh brand is not an over night process, there is new product coming on line…. Like has been said if you dont want to go, dont, i for one would like to go and see what has been done, and what may be done in the future, i did not not work for Rover, but would have liked to, it was a shame when it all went back in 2005, and the subsequent revelations caused more heart ache for those directly effected, but that was 6 years ago, is it now not time to really move on and embrace the future and the MG brand that is NOW.

  20. @Jagboy – “is it now not time to really move on and embrace the future and the MG brand that is NOW.” – Many of us have enthusiastically embraced SAIC – after all it wasn’t their fault that MGR folded. I’m a big fan of the MG6 and the Magnette, and I see great times ahead for SAIC in it’s home market – China. What is irritating many of us on this forum (see Keith’s article from last week) is the lack of effort coming from SAIC in embracing the European market – it’s as though SAIC is doing a token job, in order to avoid any criticism or suggestion that there is no future for MG in Birmingham. We have had 3 years of promises from SAIC, and little or no product, marketing, dealerships or promotion. It must feel to those who saw SAIC as a new hope for Longbridge that they have been cheated somewhat.

  21. I can’t help feeling the big mistake was actually with PWC behaving like bean counters. Had SIAC got what was left immediatly then there would have been the possiblity of keeping the plant going as it was, ideally leaving the 75 where it was and taking away the 25 and 45 to china and taking these off the european pricelists

  22. @ Stewart – I agree, that would have been the best solution of them all, they could have exchanged the plant within 6 months and continuity would have been almost restored. People forget that MGR were still selling almost 100,000 vehicles in the UK towards the end which by todays standards some of the so called major brands would kill for! Selling to NAC was the second mistake which protracted the whole re-launch thing with their infantile approach.

  23. James is out of touch with reality here! Would you want to really go back to a place where you once worked, and were shafted sideways by management? Most of the redundant staff got the bare minimum state redundancy payout (Around £7,000) for decades of loyal service, whilst the Phoenix 4 and walked away with millions for running the company into the ground in a very short time. Many, many former staff will still be very bitter to how they were treated, and no doubt will never want to see that place again. Going into that place, which is now tiny in comparison to it’s heyday, and seeing almost complete cars getting the bare minimum of assembly done is a real insult to the former staff. The plant won’t exactly be busy either due to the lack of orders. Not confidence inspiring.Also MGR were BUILDING almost 100,000 cars a year but not selling them. There must have been thousands of MG/Rovers cluttering up disused airfields all over the midlands. Management clearly screwed up when it came down to supply vs demand.And James, MGR needed BILLIONS in investment to create an entire new product line to survive, so there is no way in hell that Longbridge would have ever survived in it’s old form. Perhaps TATA could have bought them, but even they saw the dwindling market share, and how much investment was really needed, knew it would take decades to recoup what investment was needed.

  24. However that is after all PWC’s job, their job was to get as much money as possible for creditors. Bean counting is exactly what they were suppose to do as administrators.At the time they looked at keeping it going, again as administrators that was their job, but various suppliers simply said, they wouldn’t supply any more parts until they were paid their outstanding balance. There wasn’t enough money to pay them all so production had to stop. That’s why they did a last minute lash up of the last incomplete cars still on the line. You got cars coming out with mis-matched trim, simply because they were the only parts they had left on-site. Some partially completed cars were scrapped and canibalised simply to complete as many cars as they could.

  25. make no mistake jag boy and james SAIC are getting exactly what they deserve when you have gone through a lifetime of hereditary with british leyland – till the the fateful day and then watched  a chinese  car manufacturer pull out of negotiations that would have saved the company only to then come along and asset strip  the whole plant is im afraid is quite a bitter pill to swallow.then to have the cheek to then invite us all back to share the memories is im sorry but downright shameful, but your damn right everybody has the right to make the choice ,im sorry with saic i have no memories except joining the dole queue

  26. Quote James: “People forget that MGR were still selling almost 100,000 vehicles in the UK towards the end which by todays standards some of the so called major brands would kill for!”This was a hopelessly small number for any moderately volume manufacturer, even if it’s more than 100x greater than SIAC is managing from Longbridge now!

  27. I think one of the main problems here is that the Chinese do not understand or possibly care about something we affectionately call ‘Heritage’, hence why they may not see the issues fellow contributors have flagged up here concerning MG Motor UK Ltd’s forthcoming Open Day at Longbridge.

    Visit China and there is no such thing as old cars as this is a nation that is always forward thinking, not reminiscing of the past. Also, many Chinese people, until recently, won’t have owned a car so this makes their understanding of automotive heritage even more difficult.This is potentially why SAIC struggle to understand the disgruntlement of so many British enthusiasts of either the MG bradge, the Longbridge assembly plant or the British motor industry in general. After all, for many former Longbridge workers made redundant back in 2005, they would have had to have made life-changing decisions about their future, possibly going into employment sectors that they did not want to, as the automotive industry was possibly what made up most of their working life and there were no other jobs available in this area.

    The suggested invite to former Longbridge workers is more likely to be viewed as rubbing salt into healing wounds, even though this is not the intentions of MG Motor UK Ltd.The Open Day ideally ought to be aimed at more than just former employees who may not want to re-visit still painful memories of 2005. Particularly as there are no new jobs on offer at Longbridge. This Open Day ideally should be about inviting the public to come along and see the inside of the Car Assembly Building and how MG6s are completed as well as other attractions such as the museum, so that they will hopefully be inspired by what MG Motor UK Ltd has to offer now and potentially in the future too.Who knows, but this might potentially translate into one or two new car sales… 

  28. i can see both points of view on this,but the john towers and the like no longer run it do they?whats wrong with the lads meeting up again-even if its to take the piss out of the ckd mg6?for some people that place was thier lifes blood,of course lets not forget at least the chinese had the balls to stick with whats left of the place,and dont forget  bae systems buying it for a song and punting the company to bmw for a cheeky few hundred million everyones had thier rake off-pwc,pheonix or whoever.I think those chinese are rather diligent too.

  29. This idea may seem a bit revolutionary, extreme and far fetched, but why not use this reunion as an opportunity to do what the French did with their oil refineries and block the factory gates off to workers and deliveries in protest. It seemed to work all those years ago when Longbridge was actually a car factory rather than a piddling little Chinese owned garden shed. Really it’s what the Brummies should have done during the  Riots in August.

  30. @David3500 “Who knows, but this might potentially translate into one or two new car sales…” That’s precisely the problem – all SAIC UK seems to be bothered about is chasing minimal sales – to be taken seriously they need to go for volume. In some respects this is a fabulous opportunity for a Chinese car maker – it’s a gateway into the European market, using what’s left of existing infrastructure, and a very skilful European design team – SAIC could clean up if they wanted to – market the new MG3, 6 & Magnette ranges, bung in a TDi engine, and target the fleet markets – not ageing 60+ “I’d buy an BL car until hell freezes over” motorists who by now would probably have bought a Kia. SAIC need to wake up to the fact that the European market offers opportunities for growth – not everyone wants a Ford, GM, PSA or VAG product – this is the frustration – SAIC could do it, but they give the impression of a company that isn’t that bothered……

  31. Has James actually met anyone who worked for MG-R, its suppliers or within its dealer network?  I ask because all those who I know were shocked and devastated when PWC marched in and closed it down. The failure of MG-R resulted in the failure of alot of lifelong dedicated and faithful dealers also.  SAIC could have continued production, but chose not to.

  32. @ Simon Hodgetts:I share your points exactly. SAIC’s efforts, possibly based on their lack of understanding about selling cars in  the UK and European markets, has undoubtedly resulted in the issue of continued poor sales, despite having launched an all-new car. Even the CityRover which attracted only lukewarm praise at best compared to the more encouraging reviews that the MG6 has received, sold in healthier numbers.My last sentence did contain a degree of sarcasm in terms of potential numbers that might possibly be sold if their Open Day was aimed at the public rather than former MG Rover Group employees. In other words, one or two, quite literally.

  33. dont forget how this firm folded-no one was buying its cars in enough volume to sustain the operation,lets face it the cars were old hat and when they become old hat they are shit thats how joe public see it.MG-ising the existing rovers was a small miracle insofar as changing the dynamic ability of said cars,i drove a kv6 zs and i promise you it handled like an impreza!but the platforms were old but still very capable.

    Who knows what the chinese are upto next at longbridge they are not stupid but astute and at least there is a technical and design centre there.rome wasnt built in a day,the GM-saic deal may bear some fruit at longbridge yet there is an untapped electric/hybrid market on the horizon soon- the ampera is supposed to be built at ellesmere port in the future who knows maybe longbridge could be the europeon springboard for such saic models?

  34. I really can’t see a problem with this offer from MG Birmingham. Here is a chance to meet up, have a nosey around and probably a free cup of tea. If you think it is an afront for them to offer you an invite then please don’t attend.But if you want to go you are wlecome. Well I suppose it is a British disease to moan about everything.

  35. @James:  What planet are you on?If the Chineese owners wanted to support the employees, they should have supported them in April 2005, rather than offering at best what could be described as a ‘token gesture’ in very poor taste, whilst only having sights on no.1.  For those old enough to remeber, it’s like Jim Bowen announcing “here’s what you could’ve won” (not that it has amounted to much, at all).

  36. SIAC could not keep it going because the idiots at PWC had sold it to what at the time was a different company and so it was not theirs to keep going. Although if you want my true feeling they are that all Chinese bids at the time should have been disregarded as all that happened is they picked the whole thing up for near nothing by letting rover fail. But I can’t help feeling that had SIAC got it in 2005 then it would not have shut down at all

  37. Longbridge: a world class manufacturing base? I’ve heard it all now. It was an outdated factory run by (in many cases) incompetent management and manned (in quite a few cases) by a workforce that just didn’t give a damn. It’s amazing it managed to produce the cars it did. The game was up by 2005. SAIC did what any company would have done. So did NAC.

    We’re lucky SAIC has kept it on its present form. We can only hope and pray that SAIC/MG remain there and, hopefully, invest more in the months and years to come.I’m sorry for all those who lost their jobs. I’m sure those who were left there in 2005 deserved better. They paid the price for the behaviour of those who were there in the previous decades.

  38. I must admit to having a good old chuckle at the
    comments  left on this thread.  The comment about Longbridge being a world
    class manufacturing plant is absolutely hilarious. Lets been honest people it
    was a music hall joke making shoddy second rate motoring sheds that nobody
    wanted to buy heavily subsidised by the poor British taxpayer.  The whole rotten place should have been left
    to die in 1975 after it went bust the first time. Instead it was kept on life
    support for another 30 years as it died a slow lingering undignified death
    sucking ever more public money.  Even a
    crack medical team from BMW couldn’t save it, although why they ever wanted
    anything to do with it is beyond explanation.

  39. @MattH “@James:

    What planet are you on?If the Chineese owners wanted to support the employees, they should have supported them in April 2005, rather than offering at best what could be described as a ‘token gesture’ in very poor taste, whilst only having sights on no.1.

    For those old enough to remeber, it’s like Jim Bowen announcing “here’s what you could’ve won” (not that it has amounted to much, at all).” And those old enough to remember too, should remember the almost daily stories of striking emanating from Longbridge during the 60’s and 70’s. so the very idea that the poor unconditionally devoted employees are just poor heartbroken hard-done by’s is the biggests joke of all. Obviously most of the staff were good hard grafters, but why not vent some of your frustration towards the pockets of workers that created chaos for the whole show for all those decades which is what ultimately turned the entire company into one big joke.

    I still see no reason why SAIC should be getting so much stick for what is a perfectly pleasant thing to do.  Also, why would SAIC be expected to support 6500 employees back in 2005? they didnt have any employees and remember they were turned down when they tried to purchase the assets very quickly after it closed. Did you seriously expect them to step in back in April 2005 and pay for the whole show to carry on despite losing £25 million a month? Would you have? emotion aside, I strongly suspect your head would have said not.I can see you dont like the idea of this offer from MG, but I see no reason why this has to turn into an SAIC bashing – or more so a bashing of anyone who can see the brighter side it. 

  40. I think we need to remember that the Longbridge of 2005, or 1990 for that matter, was a very different place to Longbridge in 1975. yes there were lots of strikes in the ’70s, the causes of which were diverse and by no means all attributable to a shoddy workforce.

    Bythe 1990s strikes were pretty well a thing of the past, workers were on lifetime contracts and the design and quality of the cars (notably the R8) was largely as good as any. Its those people, still in employment in 2005, who lost out when MGR went under. Arguably at least, you could see it coming, but I doubt that made it any easier when the paltry redundancy pay was dished out.

    I can’t help thinking that for many, being invited back to a kind of celebration of the new Longbridge will leave a sour taste in the mouth. I know, I wasn’t there, but I also know what redundancy feels like and its not something I want to revisit. 

  41. Why are people here moaning at SAIC?.Would anyone here with good business sence got into bed with the former MG Rover brand.MG Rover was dead well before the Chinese came along(hence no new family cars and please do not get me started on the CityRover) yet they do NOT need Longbridge but choose to use MGs heritage a make a brave new start.I say good luck to SAIC.

  42. so MARK the crack medical team from bmw couldnt save it , during the surgery i would imagine its very hard to wake up from the fact that one of your major limbs has gone missing or was that the MINI oh sorry like ne other company considering we were  the  waste of time you seem to think we were .certainly stripped of our major body functions one by one by each of our respective owners at the time . 

    nobody wants SAIC TO FAIL because it can only be good for the manufacturing base in the midlands all people want is bit of open and honest intentions and everybody that posts on this site would like to see the wholehearted promotion of the mg brands rather than the attempted  botched attempt by saic at this time

  43. I think the reason why people are moaning Delboy, is because the MGR collapse put thousands of workers on the dole, taking much of the local economy with them, and now SAIC is planning a reunion for old workers in such a way that it could actually spite ex-workers.

    Plus, you mention that MG and Longbridge are being used despite not even needing them. While this is true, MG is not being used in its true form; whether this is due to misinterpretation or simply for making profit I can not say.

    Personally I would have liked to have seen the return delayed, a sportier car (although not a two-seater open-top as I may have said on another blog) should have been released, followed by the next generation of the ‘Foreigner’ saloons (play on ‘Farina’ saloons, geddit!) that seem to be making their way over here in tiny numbers, again in slightly sportier guises, leaving Roewe to the less sporty, refined (if a Chinese car can ever be called  that) market.

  44. Well, they’re fairly ramping up the marketing now. They’ve just posted a pic on Facebook showing pitchside advertising at the Wolves v Man City game this week, with the caption “MG Sales Centre is everywhere”. From what we’ve seen, there is a doubt that such a Centre actually exists…It’s the right sort of advertising, but it should be at Man City v Man Utd, Liverpool v Chelsea and the rest. The Carling Cup didn’t even have a highlights show…….

  45. Last strike was about 2003ish i think, when the workers at the profitable Powertrain ltd got a pay rise while the workers across the road at the loss-making MGR didn’t. So the car assembly workers went on strike.

  46. H.Jones,

    thanks for your reply and you do have some good arguments,but I do remember seeing a picture outside the factory and the road leading up to the factory and there was NOT 1 MG Rover car parked in any driveway.The locals may complain about local job loses but hardly any of them bought MG Rover cars.I also believe the MG 3 and MG 5 will arrive at Longbridge the next couple of years and I hope MG will start to sell cars in larger numbers.

  47. I think they should send an invitation to all the communist party members of the Longbridge/Cowley union officials from the old days and congratulate them on achieving what they always hoped for but never deemed possible at the time , the Longbridge plant owned and operated by a company that it’s self is part of Communist China !!! (I think they always wanted the Russian’s to run it)But would they have been tolerated by the present owners ?   

  48. @Mike (point 46)I’m sure passion and loyalty existed at many levels within the company under its many guises but you cannot claim that everyone shared the same attitude. Companies comprise many different individuals and not all are motivated by the same thing. If everyone at Longbridge, Cowley, Solihull etc. had been so inspired the company probably would have been a worldbeater and not the lame duck it became.  

  49. About 6 months before MG Rover went bust, my employer of 29 years did the same with a lot less publicity, and about 2000 job losses in this country with many more at risk in various Commonwealth countries, so I feel qualified to comment. Yes a lot of people will probably want nothing to do with it.

    Others like me would have no problem revisiting the past, or most importantly seeing old colleagues again. Some of the people who arguably ran my firm into the ground started up again elsewhere – many old employees would not go near it, some others were happy to get involved. I was in the middle, I was offered a position but had settled elsewhere and graciously declined.

    My point is that the reaction is going to be an individual thing.Someone else commented that there’s no Rovers and MGs in the driveways around Longbridge – I see lots when I go there each April, plenty of LDVs too.

  50. Surely meeting up with old mates and having someone else buy the coffees for you can’t be sniffed at!?

    Like any workplace there would have been hard working passionate individuals as well as lazy freeloaders who would try and nick anything they could. I personally had someone tell me he could get “anything you like for MG-Rovers, i work on the production line” When i asked what sort of staff discount he got he replied “it depends if its something that fits inside my bag……”

    I think it was on here i read about someone working on the Mini production line and random workers used to pop across and walk off with chrome grilles, door handles etc….

  51. I was at the Longbridge Reunion yesterday – it was great! There was a good, steady flow of people throughout the day. Some had brought photos (as few with albums) to show and all had stories and memories to share. MG Motors UK did a great job with a timetable of short interesting talks and regular trips across to Lord Austin’s office and Longbridge’s small museum. MG Car Club, MG Owners Club, ALF (Austin and Longbridge Federation), http://www.austinmemories.com and the Austin Ex-Apprentices Association all came along to be involved/support the reunion. ALF, http://www.austinmemories.com and Austin Ex-Apprentices Association bought memorabilia long which was comprehensive, interesting and very much appreciated by the former Longbridge workers. MG Motors UK had their cars on display, were offering test drives, had photos of the new model due next year and a range of their merchandise on display. They also had a large picture of one of their cars for everyone to sign and a memories book to capture memories. Before the event, MG Motors UK had worked hard to assemble and display and excellent selection of Longbridge photos spanning the years.

    The original idea for the reunion came from Louise Lane who worked at Longbridge from 1992 until the closure, then went to Bentley for a year before coming back to Longbridge as MG Motors UK first employee. The MD had asked her to contact previous Longbridge workers to let them know about MG Motors UK’s cars. She explained that she had no records to be able to contact them but she could organise a reunion and those who wanted to leave their contact details for the company could do so. Although the original idea came from a way to try and increase awareness and hopefully sales, this reunion was far from a cynical sales exercise but was a great way of business and community coming together for the greater good of both.

    Below are my not very good photos – I hope the link works. I take photos more as a memory aid rather than for others to appreciate.

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2627514682524.2138013.1095028026&type=1&l=617382d328

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


WordPress spam blocked by CleanTalk.