MG Cars in Abingdon
Tourist Guide to Traces of MG Cars in Abingdon
MG Cars closed down in Abingdon in 1980 nearly 30 years ago. This lens records remaining traces of their 50 year stay in Abingdon. In 1980 much of Abingdon's male population would have been employed either by Morlands the Brewery or MG Cars now both are gone.
There are several excellent websites on the famous MG Sports Car but this lens is more about the factory, it's effect on Abingdon when it closed down, and what remains of it's former presence. This lens should be a useful guide for MG enthusiasts on pilgrimage to the home of the MG
MG Cars, Morlands Brewery and Morris Dancers that was Abingdon
MG History in Abingdon
MG Cars is a British sports car brand and former manufacturer, which was founded in 1924.
MG Cars is best known for its two-seat open sports cars, but MG also produced saloons and coupÃ©s. More recently, the MG marque has also been used on sportier versions of other models belonging to the parent company.
The MG marque was in continuous use (barring the years of the Second World War) for 56 years after its inception. Production of predominantly two-seater sports cars was concentrated at a factory in Abingdon, some 10 miles (16 km) south of Oxford. The British Motor Corporation (BMC) competition department was also based at the Abingdon plant and produced many winning rally and race cars. In the autumn of 1980, however, the Abingdon factory closed and MGB production ceased. Quote from Wikipedia
New MG Museum at Abingdon
The new MG Section of the Abingdon Museum in the former County Hall opens soon. An MG Car was hoisted by crane into the upper floors. The crane however was not sufficiently powerful and Abingdon was blocked for 4 hours.
Photo: Abingdon Blog
MG Works Exhibition Poster
Former Factory Sign with Pavlova Leather
MG Cars was built on land belonging to Pavlova Leather. Pavlova were famous for their leather gloves which were worn by Royalty.
Both have now gone. Before them there was a Parchment Factory.
Former B Block Still Used
MG Admin Block (Before Modernisation)
Former Admin Block from Front With Bay Window - This is Kimbers Bay Window
MG Cars Administration Block Refurbished
What it looks like today
The Bay Windows have fortunately been retained.
MG Car Club Display in Abingdon Market Place
Kimber House: The MG Car Club - Visiting Kimber House, Cemetery Road, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 1AS
This is just out the former factory gates, but I believe was owned by the Pavlova Leather Company.
KIMBER HOUSE Abingdon is the office of the MG Car Club and is right next to the gate to the former MG Car Company factory. There is an exhibition of various MG and MGCC memorabilia, a library of MG and BMC Comps Dept books, an archive of more than 15,000 photos plus production records for most MGs produced up to 1950. There is a range of items including club badges, clothing, books, dvds and more available for sale in our shop area. Browse before you visit by clicking here.
They are open from 09:00 to 17:30 Monday to Thursday and 09:00 to 16:00 Friday and at weekends and evenings by appointment. There may be some days where we are all involved in events out of the office - in particular, the week before our MGLive! event is very busy! So, please do phone ahead if you are planning a visit.
Kimber Rd - A modest road dedicated to Mr M.G.
Cecil Kimber was general manager of MG in Abingdon in the early years, eventually fell out with William Morris, left the company and then died in 1945 in a freak railway accident.
Kimber had negotiated contract work on aircraft but this was done without first obtaining approval and he was asked to resign and left in 1941. He had also had separated from his wife in 1931 who died shortly afterwards, he married his girlfriend 2 months after this and this was disapproved by the religious William Morris (later Lord Nuffield). Cecil Kimber quickly found other work but his heart was broken by this; but this is how we British treat people who get too successful.
(Google for the article by The Independent)
He is remembered today by a rather modest industrial estate road.
Boundary House Pub, Former Home of Cecil Kimber
You can just make out the round plaque
Cecil Kimber Plaque on his former home now the Boundary House Pub
New MG Tribute Pub Sign for Boundary House Pub Abingdon
Magic Midget Pub (now called The Midget)
This is the pub associated with MG as it is on the estate where many of the former MG workers lived it opened in 1974 a few years after the closing of MG. There are many MG Plaques and Display cases on the walls: A Must Visit for MG Fans coming to Abingdon.
Midget Close, Preston Road, Abingdon, Berkshire OX14 5NR, tel 01235 535593. The pub is not easy to find so look it up on Google Maps beforehand.
In 2010 the Midget won 'Pub Of The Year' for Greene King
Magic Midget Pub has a Wall Devoted to MG Exhibits
Blacklands Rd MG Plaque
MG Car Club, Spring Rd Plaque
Brian Moylan Who Organised the MG Room at Abingdon Museum - Brian Moylan formerly of MG Cars now an Author
MG Cars Websites
- MG Car Club Abingdon
The Abingdon Works Centre of the MG Car Club - for MG enthusiasts in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Hampshire.
- MG Car Club
The Original MG Club helping MG car owners. Join in with 35,000+ MG enthusiasts
- MG Motor UK
Visit the official MG Motor UK site to view the new MG car range, download a brochure, find your nearest dealer, request a test drive, sign up to our e-newsletter.
MG Exhibition Poster Showing Factory Interior
MG Exhibition Abingdon Museum 2009
Origin of the "Old Speckled Hen" : Morland had an old MG that they used to run around the factory grounds. When not in use, it was parked outside the paint shop, where it was constantly splattered by paint. The car became affectionately know as the "Old Speckled Hen”.
This is now commemorated by the still existing "Old Speckled Hen" Beer
Magnette Close The Vineyard Abingdon
Abingdon is making a belated attempt to remember it's MG Heritage by naming a new development off the the Vineyard "Magnette Close". The Vineyard is one of the areas of Abingdon totally redeveloped in recent years.
Abingdon MG Cars Photo GalleryClick thumbnail to view full-size
MG Tribute Park Planned in Abingdon
Corner of Drayton Rd and Marcham Rd
Abingdon Town Council propose to transform the rather scruffy open area which is not far from the former MG factory. A statue of an MG Car is proposed. It should prove a focus for the many MG tourists who currently visit Abingdon from all around the world. In the photo from the Abingdon Herald can be seen Council leader Lesley Legge with MG Car Club members Julian White, Andy Knott and Chris Seaward. This is news in March 2010 will report progress here.
Grave of William Morris (Lord Nuffield) Founder of MG with Cecil Kimber at Nuffield
Nuffield is a small village about 10 mile from Abingdon on the road to Henley. The small church there is just off the Ridgeway there is a fresh water tap much appreciated by hikers. Lord Nuffield's delightful former house Nuffield Place is not far way and has been left untouched. In the summer there are occasional Open days with cream teas and tours of the house available (I don't know the prices). Recently I heard there was some threat that the house would have to be sold.
Abingdon's Futuristic Police Station on the Site of the Former MG Cars Factory
Nuffield Press Abingdon in Administration another link to Morris & MG Cars Lost
Morris Oxford Press was established in 1925 in Cowley to print literature for the Morris Motors. In 1942 renamed the Nuffield Press.
The Magic Midget Preston Rd Abingdon Opening Day postcard
New MG Mosaic Corner, Ocorner of OCK Street and Drayton Road Abingdon
Restored MG Cars & Pavlova Factory Signs
MG Cars Cycle Sign : Rare Surviving Relic
The last MGB Roadster off the production line
The last MGB Roadster off the production line in Abingdon in 1980 returns to Abingdon Museum on 1 December 2011. When the first crane proved inadequate, the time it took to get a second crane caused traffic chaos in the centre of Abingdon