"Preserving the past for the future" Patrons: Lord Rootes, T. D. Rootes and W. B. Rootes
Registered Charity - no. 1108882

Rootes Memories Oral History Project
Appeal for Volunteers

Rootes Archive Centre,
Units G151-7, Cherwell Business Village,
Southam Road, Banbury,
Oxon OX16 2SP, UK

Rootes Memories Oral History Project – Appeal for Volunteers


The Rootes Memories project aims to collect the memories of people who were involved with the manufacture or distribution of vehicles of the Rootes Group or their suppliers. This project will focus on the main areas of Kent and London, Coventry and Linwood. We would like to take this opportunity to record the memories of a generation of people involved with the engineering and manufacture of British cars and to preserve and make available these memories for future generations. The Rootes Archive Centre Trust is hoping to get Heritage Lottery funding to support this project being organised and coordinated by Kimberley Benoy. We are hoping to run this project through 2012 for 18 months to 2 years.

The aims of this project are as follows.

  1. To collect and preserve memories in the form of oral history from people who were involved with the manufacture and distribution of vehicles of the Rootes Group;
  2. To make the recordings and information gained through this project accessible to the communities involved, members of ARCC member clubs and the using booklets, exhibitions and by providing selected online access;
  3. To bring together a group of volunteers with a common interest in the motoring heritage of the UK and to train them so they have all the skills required to conduct the oral history interviews, transcribe and process the recordings and produce learning resources;
  4. To use the information gathered through the project to help people learn about the history of their communities and the impact of the motor industry;
  5. To improve and add to the recorded history of the British motor industry for future generations.

To make all this possible we need your help. We are looking for volunteers from all the ARCC clubs and enthusiasts to make this project happen. This is a one off opportunity to help capture the history of the Rootes Group before the knowledge and memories fade forever. There are a variety of jobs for volunteers to do including: oral history interviewers; local area coordinators (Glasgow, Coventry and Kent); transcribers and summarisers; creators of learning resources, booklets and Web content.

Update, 24/11/2011

A very constructive meeting took place with Steve Bagley and Damien Kimberley of the Coventry Transport Museum. They made valuable suggestions and have offered to help in a number of ways.

What Next?

If funding is obtained, full training will be provided so you don't need to have existing skills to do the jobs, just an interest in the history of the Rootes Group and a willingness to learn or provide information. Expenses will be paid including travel and accommodation where necessary. If we do not get enough volunteers for this project by December 2011 we will not be able to apply for funding as the project will not be perceived to be viable.

Therefore, if you are interested in
taking part in this project in any capacity
or if you would like more information
please contact:
Kimberley Benoy
Tel: 07961 995756 (eve.)
Email: kimberley_benoy at hotmail.com