Timeline of events

Longbridge is best known for being the site of the Austin and MG Rover Longbridge car plant. Since its demolition Longbridge have done their best to keep the memory alive and commemorate the demise of the plant. Click here for more information about Longbridge long before it was a shopping destination.

Select the decade to view the timeline of events

  • Pre 1900s
  • 1900s
  • 2000s

1210 – 1310

Pollen deposits found during an archaeological dig have been dated back to the 13th Century

1645

The Siege of Hawkesley House saw the Royalists led by King Charles I defeat the Parliamentarians

1894

White & Pike Factory opens to manufacture and print tin boxes – abandoned by 1905

1905

Herbert Austin purchases White & Pike site and opens Austin Motor Works.

1906

Herbert Austin sets up a car making business.

1909

Austin 15 went into production and continued until 1919

1910

1,000 workers are employed with the introduction of the night-shift

1914

Factory doubled in size producing 15,000 cars per year

1914 – 1918

During WW1 Longbridge, manufactured shells, guns, aeroplanes, armoured cars and ambulances for the war effort.

1922

Austin 7 presented at Olympia Motor show at the price of £25

1936

Sir Herbert Austin elevated to peerage to become Lord Austin of Longbridge

1939 – 1945

During WWII the plant produced more than half a million jerry cans, helmets and suspension units.

1952

Austin and Morris Motors merged to form British Motor Corporation

1968

British Motor Company was taken over by Leyland to become British Leyland Motor Company

1971

Austin Allegro launched

1980

Mini Metro is launched and resurrects the Austin name

1986

Austin Rover became Rover Group and the Rover Metro became Rover 100

1988

Austin Rover was sold to British Aerospace and renamed to Rover Group

1994

BMW bought Rover Group

2000

Rover Cars and the Longbridge factory were sold to the Phoenix Consortium, who renamed it MG Rover Group

2004

St Modwen purchased the 230 acre site from Phoenix Venture Holdings

2005

Went into Administration making 6,000 people redundant. This was largely due to the fact that that MG Rover Group had not realised a new model in 6 years and all competitors had refreshed their models during the 1990’s

2007

The Longbridge Innovation Centre and Devon Way were completed

2011

The arrival of Bournville College was followed by the opening of the Town Centre with a new Sainsbury’s and the three-acre Austin Park

2015

St Modwen announce Poundland, Boots And Mountain Warehouse to join the site

2017

Extra Care Retirement Village opens

2019

St Modwen announce the next phase of regeneration with plans for the biggest out of town office development in a decade

  • Pre 1900s
  • 1900s
  • 2000s

Plaques

To compliment the heritage map, artist Steven Burke created ‘Longbridge archives: This is the Spot’ in which 6 Rover Red plaques have been placed around the park and mark key locations which were once park of the Longbridge Car Factory.

  •       K-Gate
  •       North Works
  •       The Foundry
  •       N0.5 Machine Shop
  •       West Works
  •       Sewing Shop

 

These plaques have embedded QR codes that, when scanned, provide access to an archive of original photos, quotations, memories, stories from residents and former workers on their smartphone. This then transforms the town into a unique digital museum.

Heritage Map

This was created to celebrate and commemorate Longbridge’s car manufacturing heritage in Britain. This is a permanent feature created by local resident John Baker, a former Longbridge worker, activist and historian of the factory. The map is 1.6m by 3.5m, made of layers stainless steel and can be found on the side of the multi-storey carpark at ground level. The aim of this map was to inform the next generation about the incredible history that today forms Longbridge town centre.