Austin Longbridge Federation.
Austin & Longbridge
Spring April 2012
For all those with an interest in the history, products &
Formerly the Federation of Austin Clubs Registers and Associations
From the Chairman
Welcome to our April edition of the newsletter
We are in need of more marshals to aid the free flow of vehicles. This is to cover the first
Marshals meeting Wednesday 11 April at 7.30pm at Cofton Park in the car park.
Its that time of the year to renew your membership. Thank you to those who have
Membership renewal form attached to this eNews.
Significant Anniversaries 2012
90 years of the Seven
It only seems like yesterday that I was attending the Golden Jubilee of the Seven at
80 years of the Ten
In April 1932 an entirely new Austin model was introduced - the Austin Ten. Bring your
60 years of the Somerset and A30
Post war there was a shortage of new cars in the UK as most of them were assigned for
50 years of the MGB
The Longbridge connection is of course the engine and transmission of the B. The first
50 years of the 1100/1300 range
The combination of Issigonis engineering, Moulton hydrolastic suspension and Farina
30 years of the MG Metro
An MG made at Longbridge a warm hatch subsequently made red-hot with a turbo.
30 years of the Austin Ambassador
In April 1982 BL introduced the hatchback version of the Cowley built wedge Princess
From the Chairman
Forthcoming Events - 2012
Around the Clubs
The club, started in May 1997 by four enthusiasts, aims to help owners of
The Club offers the following services:-
Rallies & Events
Membership is renewable annually on June 1st.
Contact: Harry Parker, Membership Secretary.
Our Cars in the Media
The car is the star in Dirk Gentlys Holistic Detective Agency on BBC TV which
It is not clear why the Princess appears because the TV series is set in the
It may be a reference to when the book was written in 1987 or a link to the author
The new youth centre (called My Place) in Longbridge Lane will open in a couple of months.
Plans for Longbridge re-developement - Phase 1.
Longbridge Redevelopment phase 1
The High Street development off Longbridge Lane has now started, with Sainsburys store on the corner. This is part of the first phase which will include other shops
The next part of this phase is for the River Rea to be above ground through a
Phase 2 will include offices, restaurants, an hotel and more shops.
British Car Production 2011-2012
Car production in the UK has revived. Some recent statistics are:-
Also February 2012 production exceeded February 2011:-
JLR, Nissan and Mini are all expanding, and Honda Swindon has done so recently. JLR are to increase production by introducing a third shift at Liverpool to meet the demand for the Range Rover Evoque, and the new Jaguar F is planned to be made at Castle Bromwich. The Nissan Sunderland plant has expanded to meet the worldwide demand for Qashqai and Juke models - both of which carry a premium price. The Quasqai is well named - being a principle cash cow for the manufacturer - more than 300,000 of the model were made at Sunderland in 2011.
Car production in the UK is shortly expected to exceed 1.4M annually. Cars and
By way of comparison with the past - it took Austin 40 years to make 1M cars. Austin production in the decade of the 1930s was less than 400,000 cars. MG-Rover produced about 690,000 cars at Longbridge over 5 years.
But Europe-wide there is an excess of car making capacity in the face of falling sales - down nearly 10% across the EU and 20% down in France and 19% down in Italy. Ford has managed to make profits in Europe but General Motors has made losses. Despite being a highly efficient plant the Vauxhall Astra line in Liverpool has an uncertain future as does the van plant at Luton. Opel jobs are protected by complex legal agreements with the German unions. GM has recently bought shares in the French company PSA - robably a move to counter French nationalism.
Outside Europe the US market has picked up - a matter of interest to premium brands such as JLR. But the market in China may be about to contract - Chinese authorities are seeking to reign in inflation and slow the rapid expansion of the economy. In addition companies seeking joint venture in China are now required to support a Chinese brand rather than import one from the west.
Sources: Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), Daily Telegraph - Business News - 5 Jan, 20 Jan, 16 March, 6 April 2012, BIS Report on MG-Rover - MacGregor-Newey.
Demolition of Flight Shed
Tony Osborne has provided some photographs of the inside and outside of the Flight Shed
As a matter of interest, Tony calculated that the cost of heating the Flight Shed, using the gas
Far from being unique there are in fact a number of surviving hangars built under the Horsley licence and many of them are in a better state of originality than the Longbridge Flight Shed had been. Brick side extensions and re-cladding were among the changes made over the years. Only the length and span of the roof it was the largest of its kind remained as the USP of the Longbridge Flight Shed. This did not appear to be enough to justify listing.
The obvious caption is The End.
Sources - Various.
About Us - The Austin Longbridge Federation - ALF
Aims and Objectives
The primary objective of the Austin Longbridge Federation is to bring together clubs, organisations and associations, throughout the world, which have an interest in preserving and maintaining the Heritage, Name and Products of the Austin Motor Company and of the Longbridge Plant. The Federation is also open to individual members who share these interests.
Products include all brands associated with Longbridge - Austin, BMC, BL, MG-Rover - cars and commercials.
The aims are to:-
Publicise and promote Austin and its heritage
The electronic newsletter is distributed to all member clubs, organisations and associations, to individual members, and to others who have a continuing interest in Austin or Longbridge.
Copy date for June edition - 26 May 2012.
Peter Winney - Editor