In July 2015 the Warwickshire Country Records Office announced that it had been given the opportunity to purchase the last archives of the Healey Motor Company from the Healey family. This was a tremendous opportunity for the archivists at the WCRO to use the records from a world renowned, Warwick based, motor company to boost the reputation and awareness of the WCRO. But above all it presented a opportunity to use this resource to stimulate the interest of young, potential, engineers and entrepreneurs in Warwickshire and the West Midlands in general. They also knew that this archive would be of interest to thousands of Healey car enthusiasts not only in the U.K. but throughout the world.
Since taking possession of twenty boxes of records in mid 2015, the WCRO archivists and volunteers have been sifting through the material, recording and cataloging it. A daunting challenge, especially for people who may not necessarily have an automotive background. Fortunately they have been able to call upon the help of several Healey experts to aid them in their task.
All along the staff and especially senior figures in the Warwickshire County Council have been aware of the need to show the product of their labours as quickly as possible. At the same time it would have been foolish to have an halfhearted attempt at doing so.
So a date was set – September 4th 2016 when the Archive could be presented to the public, especially to Healey, Austin Healey, Jensen Healey and Nash Healey owners and enthusiasts.
Leaflets were printed and distributed at suitable car events such as Retro Warwick and the BMC & Leyland Show at the British Motor Museum Gaydon. Also, contact was made with the clubs who represent the various Healey marques.
So today was the day! I went along to have my second look at the archive and to record my memories of working in the drawing office at Jensen Motors, Carters Green, West Bromwich, factory, where the Austin Healey 100 was first produced. Above all I went along to take photos of the cars attending the event.
In producing material for this website I attend an number of different car shows where classic cars are likely to be on display. I enjoy them all. But I will have to say, this event was very special, not only did I see some beautifully presented Healeys of all types but I spoke to some very interesting and knowledgeable people. I hope that I do not cause anyone any embarrassment but I will name just three of the people I met and enjoyed talking to – David Matthews of wwah.org, Peter Seamen, owner of a stunning Sebring Sprite and as I discovered, a near neighbour of mine, plus Paul Hodgkinson the ‘Super Sprite’ aficionado. Wow! did I learn a lot?
I am sure that I am not the only one who had a memorable day at the Warwickshire County Records Office Healey Motor Company Archive Open Day. I Cant’ wait for the next event.
Here are some of the photos I took –
Any views, comments or observations made in this article are entirely my own. They are made in good faith and without any intention of portraying any person, organisation or object in an unfavourable light.