First Glimpse into the Healey Motor Company Archive

Family Friendly Open Day

RetroWarwick 2016 2Following the Warwickshire County Record Office’s acquisition of the Warwick Healey Motor Company Archive material to allow free public access, the collection will be open for viewing for the first time!

The Open Day, Sunday 4th September from 10am-4pm at the Warwickshire County Record Office, promises to be a fun event for all the family and Healey enthusiasts alike.

There will be a display of documents, film, photographs and sound recordings, as well as a talk by collector Warren Kennedy on the early Healey cars manufactured at the Cape Works in Warwick. There will also be an opportunity to look inside the strongrooms, and to view other vehicle related records, exploring the Record Office itself. Activities for children will include designing and drawing a Healey car, and a chance to meet the Record Office mascot Chambearlin the Bear.

To add glamour to the occasion, various Healey cars will be on display in the car park, with an open call out to Healey owners to bring theirs along too! Project Archivist Gary Collins said “We are hoping to have a broad selection of cars from the early Warwick models, the ‘Big’ Austin Healeys and the later Sprites, through to the later Jensen Healeys. We would also encourage anyone that owns a Healey to bring it along.”

Commenting on the collection Councillor Jeff Clarke, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Heritage and Environment, said, “This is a great addition to the Record Office archive. It will be available to anyone wishing to use it for research and will stand as a permanent legacy to the achievements and ingenuity of the Healey family in Warwick, the birthplace of the company.”

Councillor Philip Johnson, Chair of the Communities Overview & Scrutiny Committee for Warwickshire County Council said, “Family events such as this open up the Record Office to the public in new and exciting ways, with this collection capable of appealing to a diverse audience and inspiring young minds to engage with design and engineering.”

The project has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, PRISM (Preservation of Industrial and Scientific Material), Friends of National Libraries, King Henry VIII Trust Warwick and a number of generous private donations. A further £25,000 is needed to reach the initial target of £120,000 which will allow the collection to be fully catalogued and digitised. The Open Day at the Record Office is free but donations will be welcomed.