Saving Longbridge Heritage
The British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Archive has been closely involved in rescuing historic items from the Longbridge sight since the MG Rover went into administration in 2005.
As the shape of the Longbridge site continues to change, the Nanjing Automobile Company recently handed General Office Block back to St Modwen Properties for redevelopment. This long line of offices has fronted the Lickey Road since 1931 when it was built as the Austin Service Department. It has housed many operations during its history, including the experimental workshops, sales and marketing and payroll.
Once it was the hub of the factory’s communication networks, equipped with a telephone exchange, busy post room and a bewildering maze of IT systems. It has, however, been out of use for a number of years and its state of deterioration is such that demolition is the only viable option.
Prior to the building being handed over to the demolition contractors, St Modwen allowed the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust to rescue any documents and artefacts of historic value – though with strict instructions not to disturb the abundant asbestos for the sake of our health! The timescale was tight as usual, but we were able to rescue many interesting notices and artefacts before the contractors moved in.