Note: for notice of forthcoming open days and meetings use the Calendar.
This page mostly contains reports about past events and progress with the Archive itself. Details of current activities are shown on the News page.
Preservationist of the Year! The Association of Rootes Car Clubs and the Rootes Archive Centre Trust have been jointly awarded the Preservationist of the Year accolade by The Transport Trust for the work they have done in preserving the engineering archive of the Rootes Group. http://www.carsceneinternational.com/rootes-archive-grand-opening-22-april-2018.
Over 100 classic cars with around 200 Friends visited Rootes Heritage for Drive-It! Day and the Grand Opening on 22/4/2018. Some pictures taken during the event. See also Web article by Nick Maltby http://www.carsceneinternational.com/rootes-archive-grand-opening-22-april-2018.
Participants in the Practical Classics 1000 mile Reliability Run visited Rootes Heritage on 21/4/2018.
Matt Ollman received the award for National Car Club Unsung Hero of the Year on 24/3/2018. Congrat Matt!
Moving out of Cherwell Village and into Apollo Park. Some pictures taken during the move.
Sunbeam Talbot Alpine Register donates to the Rootes Archive Centre Trust Building Appeal 15th October 2017. The Sunbeam Talbot Alpine Register (STAR) were the first Rootes car club to be in attendance at the Rootes Archive Centre Trust's (RACT) new building in Banbury on Sunday 15th October for the presentation of the STAR donation to the RACT Building Appeal.
28/10/2017: Phase-2 of the move is complete. Photos can be seen on our Facebook site. Thanks to all who helped with the mammoth task!
20/8/2017: Phase-1 of the move from Cherwell Business Village to Wroxton Apollo Park is complete. Photos to follow. Thanks to Jon from Betts Transport Services for fantastic help.
Drive It! Day, Sunday 23rd April, click here.
Building for the
Future!. Planning permission has now been granted for our new
Archive building. Construction is set to commence in mid-February,
with a view to completion in late August 2017. This will require a
further £25,000 so please continue to donate, pledge or loan to
To download the Building Fund Pledge Form click here.
The Rootes Archive Centre Trust purchases its own HQ Building 28th November 2016. The Rootes Archive Centre Trust has now placed a deposit for the build of its own Archive Centre (subject to planning permission being granted).
Commer Open Day Sunday 6/11/2016. 25 Commer owners visited the Archive Centre to see some of our work. Some of them even brought their vehicles. There were also Commer related items on sale including literature and memorabilia.
Retro Truck Day, Gaydon Sunday 11th September. Trustees and Commer enthusiasts among others attended the event. A highlight was the Tate and Lyle Commer TS3.
The Archive Centre Trust is at the Lancaster Insurance NEC Classic Car show this weeknend (11-13/11/2016) See our Facebook page here.
Buck Trippel, in 2015 donated a period micro-fiche scanner from USA. Matt Ollman has done a lot of work to connect it to our IT equipment and get it working. You can now see a video here on our FaceBook site. This will make a big difference.
Matt Ollman met up with Mike Andrews at the archive centre on Sunday 20th March. They have identified lots of TS3 drawings all on fiche and all marked "original destroyed". A TS3 Working Party is being organised for 17th April, hopefully with the addition of Geoff Caverhill, Gordon Jarvis, Don Kitchen and Peter Lewis. Don was the design manager at Tilling-Stevens for the TS3 diesel engine. Although now 91 years old he is visiting us to help researchers with their study of the TS3 and prototype TS4 engines. Many of the drawings from the 1950s and 60s bear Don's signature and as part of his visit we will re-unite him with them and find out more information.
Building Fund Launch, November 14th 2015 - Building for the Future!. A number of Trustees attended the Classic Motor Show at the NEC over the weekend of 13-15th November. We were on the stand with the Association of Rootes Car Clubs (no.225 in Hall 5) near the Rapiers (the Rapier is 60 this year). Many people came along to say hello and catch up on the latest news. On Saturday at 3:45pm we had a very special guest on the stand: Sir Stirling Moss helped us launch the Rootes Archive Building Fund.
Visit to discuss working with the Herbert Museum who are now housing consolidated archives previously at the Coventry Transport Musuem and University of Warwick.
Cataloguing Commer-Karrier material obtained from Dunstable Association last year. Information is being posted as we proceed.
Matt spent 30th November re-arranging the digitisation area of the Archive Centre to make room for two recent donations of an A2 printer and an A3 scanner. The printer has already been put to use producing some of the posters for our building fund, and now the A3 scanner is earning its keep digitising the engineering standards manuals. The engineering standards contain the details of all the small parts on the vehicles like nuts, bolts, trim clips, washers, grommets, dzus fasteners. If you check your parts list it's the parts with numbers from (7)9000000. The first manual to be digitised starts at 9116110 and ends at 9169329 that's a potential 53,000 parts. I checked the series Alpine parts list and this covers about 250 Alpine and probably Tiger parts.
Micro-fiche Reader - the Archive Centre now has a microfiche card reader, well two actually. Matt is hoping to have one working soon, possibly using spares from the second one. Thanks to Buck Trippel for help with this. They will greatly speed up the process of scanning the fiche, which can be piled into the machine and read directly into computer files (that's the theory). There are around 100,000 to process so it may still take a while...
Open Day, October 4th 2015 - Sunday 4/10/2015. You can visit the Archive Centre and see some of our work.
Archiving - Work currently being carried out:
Digitising Sunbeam Alpine parts drawings - Matt Ollman
Cataloguing drawings stored in tubes - Gordon Jarvis
Cataloguing photographic negatives - Richard Sozanski
Sunbeam Tiger research - Graham Vickery
Rootes Group History - Bob Allan
Rootes Book - Geoff Carverhill
Web Updates - We are currently undertaking a number of updates to the Web site and have also launched a FaceBook site for Friends of the Archive Centre to share information. See https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rootes-Archive-Centre-Trust/428976040588735.
Drive It! Day, April 2015 - Sunday 26/4/2015. You can follow part of the Edgehill run finishing at the Archive Centre.
Work Day at the Archive Centre 23/8/2014. More cataloguing and checking of the Rootes archives. Contact Matt Ollman: firstname.lastname@example.org to come along to help.
Heritage Certificates - RACT are pleased to hear the announcement in the Budget that henceforward there will be a rolling exemption from liability to pay Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) in respect of vehicles over 40 years old. see news release.
Lots more cataloguing has taken place. We are updating the Web site to contain the latest information.
Scanner - the wide format drawing scanner kindly donated by Buck Trippel on his trip to "hunt the Tiger" in autumn of 2012 is now up and running. Matt Ollman has acquired additional software and also a useful negative scanner for the microfiche. This will all make it easier to provide people with copies of the drawings.
Web Site - we've added to this Web site a list of Rootes related films in the archive of British Pathe. This was mentioned to us by FBHVC and the Singer Owners' Club. Some of the Stanley Schofield films are now available to purchase on DVD.
Rapier Owners' Club - visited the Centre.
NEC Classic Car Show - 17-18th November. For more information see news release.
Tiger Hunt - 18-22nd October 2012 US Team visit made a massive contribution to discovery and preservation of Sunbeam Tiger engineering drawings.
Rootes Memories Oral History Project - Appeal for Volunteers. Can you help to provide information about the activities of the Rootes Group or to interview and transcribe memories from that generation? see news release. Unfortunatelly we did not get enough volunteers to take this forward so we will re-visit this idea later.
NEC Classic Car Show - 11-13th November. For more information see news release.
July 2011 Hawkhurst Rally - Back to our Rootes - 21-27/7/2011.
Product Planners' Visit to the Archive Centre. Former members of Rootes and Chrysler planning departments.
Hawkhurst Rally - Back to our Rootes.
Easter 2011 - update of Web site
April 2011 Sunday 17/4/2011, note one week earlier than usual. The drive will follow part of the Edgehill run finishing at the Archive Centre.
December 12 2010 - Archive Open Day and 2010 Xmas Fayre.
November 12-14 2010 - NEC Classic Car Show.
November 14 2010 - launch of on-line Friends Portal (now replaced by FaceBook site).
July 2010 Maybe not what everyone was expecting, but moving to Banbury was a positive outcome. See re-launch of the Archive Centre on 4/7/2010.
Work was done to update the list of Rootes Service Bulletins in the collection as these have proven to be of great interest. See here for 1964-73 bulletins - not just Imps (and not yet complete). We have also updated the list of holdings of parts lists and workshop manuals.
Moving to Banbury, May 2010 - Some pictures taken during the move. All help appreciated, however small!
April 2010 It is now the end of the original lease we had on the Wescott premises. Thanks especially to the security staff at Westcott who made us very welcome during our stay there. We have been lucky to find an opportunity to move to more flexible accommodation as befits our growing archive. For further information see news item.
January 2010The weather in January 2010 gave rise to the worst winter conditions in England in the last 30 years. Despite careful monitoring, the Archive Centre suffered a burst water pipe. We hadn't expected this as all the pipes we knew of were lagged - this one ran through a roof space that we hadn't identified.
Fortunately (!) little damage has been done to the priceless drawings held in the Centre building at Westcott. Despite this, we've had a serious ingress of water and this has affected our collection of workshop manuals and parts lists. A lot of cleaning up has to be done. Books are currently being dried and have been moved to other locations. It is going to take a long time to sort things out and bring the collection back to normal. We therefore regret that there will be no "public" events for the next couple of months. Club meetings and visits from individuals can however go on as planned.
You can see that this kind of event, definately not desirable, underlines how important it is to carefully preserve the Rootes heritage. We need your help in doing this, please join the growing community of Friends so that we can continue to provide a conservation quality environment for all the documents which have been saved. Information on how to do so is provided on the Friends' page.
Archive Centre Open Day and Xmas Fayre 13/12/2009
Archive Centre Open Day Sunday 18/10/2009. Another Spares Day is being organised at Westcott similar to the very successful one last March.
Drive It! Day April 2009 - Drive it Day, April 2009
Spares Day March 2009 - Spares Day, March 2009
Rootes Archive Centre Open Day and Christmas Fayre, 7/12/08, 10am-5pm
Centre Open Day Sunday 12/1/2008
November 15-17 2008 - NEC Classic Car Show. ARCC won first prize for best club stand assisted by the Archive Centre Trust.
July 25-27 2008 - ARCC won second prize for its display of Rootes Works rally cars at the Silverstone Classis Festival commemorating the Rootes and Chrysler Competition Dept. 60th Anniversary
June 2008 - Web site updated with information about recent activities
June 2008 - Web site catalogue of Rootes models updated with links to contributed photos from the Hillman Centenary and others. Go to the Catalogue page.
5/5/2008 - David Parrott (Founding Trustee and first Treasurer) died on 5th May 2008.
20/4/2008 - Drive It! Day 2008
Spring 2008 - John Dandy has donated photographs of Norman Garrad and others from the Competition Department
Spring 2008 - Matt Ollman and James Spencer become trustees
30/3/2008 - Model Collector's Day
March 2008 - on-line Commer-Karrier information updated
March 2008 - Mark Wilmott has donated the scale model of the Linwood factory
Winter 2007 - loan of early photograph album by Brian Swann showing wartime use of the Ryton Plant
December 9th 2007 - Fourth All-Clubs Open Day.
October 14th 2007 - Third All-Clubs Open Day.
13-15th July 2007 - Archive Centre representatives were present at the Hillman Centenary, see ARCC Web site.
June 10th 2007 - Re-manufactured Imp water pump presented to Archive Centre.
June 10th 2007 - Second All-Clubs Open Day and launch of new merchandise products.
May 2007 - Updates to the Centre's Web site. During the spring I've waded through the Imp-related drawing accession index and the master record books. All this material is now on-line. Help from Roger Swift gratefully acknowleged.
April 22nd 2007 - First All-Clubs Open Day. To provide a suitable destination for your Drive It Day run, we have chosen Sunday 22nd April as the first all-clubs open day at the Archive Centre. Some and see the Archives and what we are doing with them!
18th March 2007 - Model Fair.
April 2007 - acquisition of additional material from the Des O'Dell archives with help from Marcus Chambers.
April 2007 - acquisition of Colin Malkin's archive material on permanent loan from Darren Malkin.
18th March 2007 - Model Fair press release and photos.
8th March 2007 - probably the last rescue trip from the Stoke plant, comprising a car full of drawings of jigs, tools etc. of which a lot a re. Peugeot.
March 2007 - visit to Tim Rootes to receive additional photographs, some donated and some on loan from the Rootes family.
November 2006 - launch of Heritage Certificates Scheme. Find out more about when your car was first registred and sold. Go to the Certificates page.
3/11/06 - Tim Rootes visited the Centre to review progress.
October 2006 - launch of 2006 Christmas card series and other opportunities to buy presents for friends and family. Go to the Shop.
October 2006 - acquired a large-format camera for drawing re-production onto film. This is an original item from Humber Road.
August 2006 - recept of trophies bequeathed from the estate of David Ward.
August 2006 - information on Rootes diesel engines and commercial vehicles received from Peter Firmstone, Australia
15/6/06 - more material obtained from Humber Road.
June 2006 - more updates to the Web site
March 2006 - more updates to the Web site
25/2/06 - Delivery of remaining drawings, pictures to follow.
February 2006 - launch of the "Friends" scheme, how you can help the Archive grow! Go to the Friends Scheme.
25/2/06 - Delivery of remaining drawings in carboard tubes, arrived on a 37ton artic at 9am! Where are we going to put them all?
15/2/06 - more material from Humber Road
December 2005 - acquisition of Kodak Statfile model No2 photographic recorder
December 2005 - acquisition of Dyline drawing copier and microfiche viewer with printing attachment
November 2005 - launch of Christmas card scheme.
26/10/05 - Photos of the opening ceremony finally on-line.
23/10/05 - Rootes Informal Gathering, Westcott. The Association of Rootes Car Clubs and The Trustees of the Archive Centre proudly present An Informal Gathering of Rootes Cars at The Rootes Archive Centre, Westcott, Buckinghamshire. Sunday 23rd October 2005 from 10am til 4pm. Come and have a look at the archive of 150,000 engineering drawings, plus the microfilm and photo library.
9/10/05 - More updates to Web site.
3/10/05 - Trustees meeting at Westcott.
20/9/05 - Web site domain purchased by Dave Parrott and linked to Bob Allan's existing server.
Sept 2005 - Opening featured in FBHVC Newsletter.
Sept 2005 - Updated catalogue with information provided by Jim Crampton.
14/7/05 - Opening featured in Classic Car Weekly.
1/7/05 - Centre Opening ceremony for the Archive Centre, took place on Friday 1 July at 7.00pm for 7.30pm, when Lord Nick Rootes unveiled a suitable plaque.
June-July - Entering details of some of the Imp drawings onto computer. Have got through only 1/2 of one cabinet so far...
25/6/05 - Perl script written to randomly choose a picture for each page. Off now to a birthday party and then down to Westcott tomorrow morning...
23/6/05 - Updated Catalogue, pictures of Westcott facilities and partial list of Imp drawings added to the Web site
Most of June - Tim, Sally and Gordon have done a huge amount of work to get the Centre finished and organise the opening ceremony. It looks great!
Sometime in June - Web site launch
22/4/05 - Moving into Westcott,
10/4/05 - Charity Commission, the Rootes Centre Trust is now a registered charity
Feb 2005 - New Web site being designed
2005 - Microfiche rescued
2004 - Set up Centre and Trust
2004 - Contact with Clubs to explain options
2004 - Drawings need a new home, again!
2003 - Drawings rescued
Moving out of Humber Road.
2003 - First view of drawings
Brian Swann notified Tim Sutton about the impending scrapment of a large quantity of factory records. This was a pivotal moment!