Motor industry in Oxford

Morris Motors, British Leyland and Rover

Soundbites from Oxfordshire History Centre oral history collections

  • Select from the topics or events below to reveal a list of mp3 extracts you can listen to
  • Click here for more information about our Oral history collections

MT 443 - Lord Nuffield biography

from BBC Radio Oxford: 'Linger Awhile' programme no. 36, 30th May 1976

Reference Description Length
MT 443 Interview with Elizabeth Tossell about William Morris (Lord Nuffield) and his first car and factory 2 min : 53 sec

MT 859 - Morris Motors early days

from BBC Radio Oxford 'Carmakers' programme no. 1

Reference Description Length
MT 859 Lord Nuffield and Alfred Keen - apprenticeship and early days 4 min : 16 sec

MT 865 - British Leyland assembly line and trim manufacture, 1970s

from BBC Radio Oxford 'Carmakers' programme no. 7, late 1970s

Reference Description Length
MT 865 part 1 Cliff Edmunds describes work on the tracks in QT Block (South Works, assembling the Morris Marina 4 min : 33 sec
MT 865 part 2 Mrs Pat Fudge ('Trim Ladies') talks about the manufacture of trim and seats 3 min : 44 sec

MT 1468 - Margaret Thatcher on British Leyland, 1975

BBC Radio Oxford, 2nd May 1975

Reference Description Length
MT 1468 Speech by and interview with Margaret Thatcher re British Leyland 6 min : 16 sec

MT 1549 - British Leyland strike, 1976

BBC Radio Oxford, 27th April 1976

Reference Description Length
MT 1549 Reg Parsons, TGWU senior shop steward, on the one-day clocking-out strike by British Leyland assembly plant workers 3 min : 30 sec

MT 2242 - British Leyland strike, 1977

BBC Radio Oxford, March 1977

Reference Description Length
MT 2242 Sarah Fuller of BBC Radio Oxford asks John Power, AUEW district president, what he thinks of BL's order to the strikers to return to work or lose their jobs 2 min : 47 sec

MT 2247 - End of the Morris Minor car

BBC Radio Oxford, ca. 1977-8

Reference Description Length
MT 2247 Interview with Peter Jewson, marketing director, who talks about the Morris Minor car and why they are sought after today. Interview with Ian Elliot, product manager, who explains why they stopped making them 4 min : 45 sec

MT 2251/5 - Michael Edwardes, BL Chairman, 1977

BBC Radio Oxford, 26th October (MT2251) and 16th November (MT2255) 1977

Reference Description Length
MT 2251 Victor Keegan and Graham Turner commenting on the appointment of Michael Edwardes as new Chairman of British Leyland 4 min : 21 sec
MT 2255 Interview with Michael Edwardes on his appointment as new Chairman of British Leyland 2 min : 09 sec

MT 2259 - Trade union tussles at BL, 1977

BBC Radio Oxford, 9th December 1977

Reference Description Length
MT 2259 Reaction of Reg Parsons to losing his position as TGWU Senior Steward to the left wing Bobbie Fryer. Also Parson's reaction to the appointment of Alan Thornett as an elected Deputy. 4 min : 00 sec

LT 896 - Politics of the Production Line

BBC Radio Oxford, 17th April 1994: reflections on work in the Oxford motor industry before and after trade union representation

Reference Description Length
LT 896 Interviews with: David Buckle, trade union representative; Arthur Exell; Haydn Evans; Edgar Vines; Gladys Mitchell; Sidney Shayler; Eileen Hayes; John Power; Glyn Newlands, Morris Motors Brass Band 3 min : 06 sec

MT 2589 - William Morris (Lord Nuffield) centenary, 1977

Extract from BBC Radio Oxford programme, 10th October 1877, 'The Guvnor', celebrating the life and work of William Morris, Lord Nuffield on the centenary of his birth

Reference Description Length
MT 2589 Interview with George Weeks, one of the founder members of the Morris Band Motors Silver Band 2 min : 00 sec

LT 544 - Rover Group sell-off, 1988

Extracts from BBC Radio Oxford special broadcast on the proposed bid by British Aerospace to take over the Rover Group, 2nd March 1988

Reference Description Length
LT 544 part 1 Introduction 0 min : 37 sec
LT 544 part 2 Commentary from former General Secretary for Transport and General Workers Union, David Buckle 2 min : 47 sec
LT 544 part 3 BBC reporter Gargi Patel talks to un-named employees of the Rover car plant in Cowley as they finish their shift at 4pm 2 min : 33 sec
LT 544 part 4 Commentary from Labour MP for Oxford East, Andrew Smith 3 min : 04 sec

LT 550 - Rover plant closure, 1988

'Special' BBC Radio Oxford report on the Rover Group announcement that it intends to close the South plant of the Cowley car factory, with the loss of 4,000 jobs. Peter Smith interviews, 18th July 1988

Reference Description Length
LT 550 part 1 Graham Day, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Rover Group, talks about the job losses, redundancies, attrition, and that the losses were nothing to do with the company's take over of British Aerospace 3 min : 53 sec
LT 550 part 2 Ivor Braggins, convener and union representative, believes the closure of the South plant will put car production in jeopardy 2 min : 44 sec
LT 550 part 3 Reporter, Nicola Davies, presents a brief history of Morris Motors 3 min : 16 sec
LT 550 part 4 John Glasson, an expert on the local economy from Oxford Polytechnic, talks about the changes affecting three groups in Oxford 4 min : 16 sec