Healey Histories wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

Mille Miglia roadsterWarwickshire County Council has been successful in its £51,300 bid to preserve the Warwick Healey Motor Company Archive. The project will purchase the collection and also create a new archive, an oral history collection of memories from former employees and those with family connections to the company. In addition, 10 schools will help Heritage and Culture Warwickshire pilot STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) workshops engaging children with the engineering and technological know-how behind the Healey brand. 

The lottery money was the final piece needed to purchase the collection which included funding from the PRISM fund (Preservation of Industrial and Scientific Material), Friends of National Libraries, King Henry VIII Trust Warwick, Head 4 Healeys Ltd, Friends of Warwickshire County Record Office, Warwickshire Industrial Archaeology Society and a number of generous private donations. It will now take pride of place amongst Warwickshire’s valued archive collections at Warwickshire County Record Office. Once the project is complete the collection will be available to anyone wishing to use it for research and will stand as a permanent legacy to the achievement and ingenuity of the Healey family in Warwick, the birthplace of the company. 

Healey - Louise King & DH
Heritage and Culture Warwickshire are very keen to support young people studying engineering or working as apprentices in the industry to take part in this project. If you or anyone you know would like to contribute to the oral history archive, or help record, transcribe and edit the testimonies please contact Sarah Hann, Heritage and Culture Warwickshire’s Volunteer Co-ordinator on 01926 736422 or via email . 

If you are unable to volunteer your time but would like to support the project in other ways please consider making a donation via our website. The project team hope to meet the target of £30,000 from public and private donations to ensure that the collection can be fully conserved, catalogued and parts of it digitised to ensure that the maximum benefit can be achieved from this project. 

Commenting on the award, Councillor Jeff Clarke, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio holder for Heritage and Environment said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project reminds us all of Warwickshire’s proud manufacturing and motoring heritage and that Warwickshire is a great place to do business. I am confident the project will support young people to develop new skills and an interest in their local heritage.’

Cllr Philip Johnson, Chair of the Communities Overview & Scrutiny Committee added: ” How fitting that the Healey archive should find a home in the town where the early models were conceived and built. The company made an important contribution to the identity of post-war Warwick with its Cape Road works and showrooms in Coten End” 

Come and celebrate this success with us at the Vintage Fair, St John’s House, Warwick on Sun April 10th 11-4pm. Entry is free and there will be lots to see with stalls, a vintage hair stylist as well as Healey classic cars, archivists from Warwickshire County Record Office  and a glimpse of some treasures from the Warwick Healey Motor Company Archive.

Images: Brochure advertising the roadster used in the Mille Miglia in 1948/9; Donald Healey with American actress Louise King (wife of Grand Prix driver Peter Collins)