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Rootes Heritage, Unit 15 Apollo Office Park
Ironstone Lane, Wroxton, Banbury, Oxon OX15 6AY

Rootes Archive Centre

Rootes Archive Centre - Diary.

Press Releases and Diary of Happenings.

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.


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.


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.


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.


Work Day at the Archive Centre 23/8/2014. More cataloguing and checking of the Rootes archives. Contact Matt Ollman: matthewollman_at_rootesarchivecentre.org.uk 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!

moving tubes into Banbury

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

the last few drawings collected


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,

a welcome brew during the move 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

"Preserving the past for the future."
Rootes Heritage, Unit 15 Apollo Office Park, Ironstone Lane, Wroxton, Banbury, Oxon OX15 6AY, UK

The Rootes Archive Centre is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales number 1108882.
Patrons: Lord Rootes, T.D. Rootes, W.B. Rootes.

This document can best viewed with any browser

Web site developed and maintained by R.J. Allan
"Hand Knitted Software" 2005-17

Comments on and contributions to the Web site should be send to Bob Allan (e-mail).

Page last modified: Thursday, 27-Aug-2015 17:08:04 BST