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MG MGA - Anybody left who made MGAs?

One of the pleasures of being the PR man for an Air Racing Team was the opportunity to interview and learn from the wealth of experience the "old timers" who engineered, manufactured, and flew the aircraft, systems and power plants that ours (3350 cu in powered Sea Fury) evolved from.

It has occurred to me that if someone in the area of Abingdon (California being about as far away as one can get) were to put an ad in the paper for any manufacturing worker that engineered, assembled, etc. the MGA, it could be worth an interview or so. Any story relating to the production of or the community of workers during that time would be of historical value to all of us. Perhaps we could somehow help cover the cost of a few pints or dinners (tea) or so to facilitate this adventure!

Russ
Russ Carnes

Russ, This is a coincidence because I've been thinking about this over the weekend in connection with the 'cockpit length' thread'. I'm sure I read a while ago about someone putting an ad. in a local Abingdon paper asking for contact with people having worked in the MG factory but not specifically MGA.

We went close to Abingdon last year and I remember asking my wife whether she would like to spend a couple of hours in the town while I routed around the local library but she wouldn't buy the idea.

I will offer to give the library a ring tomorrow and ask if they accept advertisements on their notice board and send one down to insert for a few months and see what response I get. Many of our libraries will do this.

Even though it will be a rapidly dwindling band now there must still be a few people around, especially from the later years, who worked on the lines and one good contact might lead to several others. Unfortunately there might not be many who fancy writing letters and e-mail might be beyond guys in their 70s and 80s.

Anyway I will let you know how I get on. Mike
m.j. moore

There are a few of the guys still around from the MGA development era in 1955. I met 4 of them at Abingdon in 2005 at the start of the MGA 50th anniversary run down to Le Mans. The names Brian Moylan, Jim Cox and Cliff Bray spring to mind.

Brian Moylan produced a booklet "MGAs at Le Mans". His email in 2005 was brianmoylan@waitrose.com

Worth a shout.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Here are 3 of them in 2005 at Abingdon. They are with Mabel, which was about No.5 off the production line I think.
Steve

Steve Gyles

Jim Cox (I think) being interviewed by national TV in front of Mabel with SRX210 in the background.

Steve

Steve Gyles

check here:

http://www.mgabingdon.org.uk/index.html


Siggi
Siggi

Siggi is right. The Abingdon Works Centre of the UK MG Car Club is a great place to start. It was originally the MG works car club. When the factory closed in 1980, it was agreed that the factory club would become part of the MGCC so that it could continue to operate. There are still some of the workforce around and some still active in the Club. Brian Moylan is a very important one as he was involved in some of the major competition achievements of the cars. He will also know of other contacts.

They are generally happy to talk about the good times because they are so proud of what the factory achieved.

Malcolm
Malcolm Eades

Interesting website. I looked in the cars for sale section. The white MGA coupe 15 adverts down the list looks like Gordon Pugh's (not heard from him lately) old car with the cracks filled with typewriter's fluid!

Steve
Steve Gyles

Brian Moylan has also written a book calles "MG's Abingdon Factory. I discovered this in 2007 when the MG museum was re-opened in Abingdon and I actually spoke to Brian. Proof - that's me talking to him in the pic. (Sorry he's facing the wrong way, but its the only one I've got) That day an MG forum was also held at the nearby Abingdon school with MG personnel on stage answering questions placed by the audience. A fascinating day.
The book tells the inside story of the factory from its beginnings in 1930 until its closure in 1980. I see it is still available - check out www.veloce.co.uk
Pete

Pete Tipping

Brian was signing copies of his 'MG's Abingdon factory' book at the MG Show and Spares Day at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire in February 2008. He signed mine and I made a short video of him doing so. It's near the end at the right hand side of the following web page -

http://web.mac.com/djwardell/mgtf1500/home/Entries/2008/2/24_MG_Show_and_spares_day_Stoneleigh_2008.html

David
D Wardell

Here is a link to Amazon for the book, including a look inside the book. I've ordered one today.

http://www.amazon.com/Abingdon-Factory-Those-were-days/dp/184584114X/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_i/192-2244498-1851012

Russ
Russ Carnes

Great stuff Russ, I think you will enjoy this special little book.
Pete
Pete Tipping

This isn't exactly MGA stuff, but have just come across this link to an old silent film made in 1931 when the M type midgets were in production and Abingdon was still new - thought you might like the historic detail. After all our A's were made there too.
Enjoy
http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=70826
Pete
Pete Tipping

This one is a bit more MGA related...

EX181

http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=775

Mark Hester



Or this one

http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=81585

Mark Hester

Great videos Mark. The dramatic narration really sets the time period. By coincidence, Monday's mail brought me a 1/43 scale model of EX181!

Ken
k v morton

This thread was discussed between 25/10/2009 and 03/11/2009

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