The Patrick Foundation supports ‘The Learning Hub’ at the British Motor Museum

A press release from the British Motor Museum –

Julian and Laura Pritchard of the Patrick Foundation opening the British Motor Museum Learning Hub
Julian and Laura Pritchard of the Patrick Foundation opened the British Motor Museum Learning Hub.

“The British Motor Museum is delighted to announce the opening of ‘The Learning Hub’, a brand-new Lifelong Learning and Education Space which has been made possible with the generous support of The Patrick Foundation. The Learning Hub creates a welcoming and inspiring environment for students, learners, and teachers and includes two new classroom style rooms as well as a larger communal area for larger groups, a space for hands-on and collaborative work and a place for lunch.

Julian Pritchard, of The Patrick Foundation, said, “The trustees of the Patrick Foundation are thrilled to see the Learning Hub open and welcoming schools and pupils to the Museum. For nearly four decades The Patrick Foundation has been involved in providing an educational programme and location for local schools.  However, as we begin to close our doors, we are proud to have provided funding for this new purposeful space, ensuring pupils are able to enjoy the best learning environment, experience, and facilities.”

Stephen Laing, Head of Collections at the British Motor Museum, added, “We’re delighted that the Patrick Foundation has generously supported the creation of The Learning Hub, a dedicated space for school children and college students of all ages, as well as community and specialist groups from all walks of life. Our learning programmes aim to inspire everyone and are at the heart of all the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust’s activities.”

In addition to the support for ‘The Learning Hub’, the recent partnership between The Patrick Foundation and the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust resulted in the donation of a vintage Singer Le Mans car earlier this year. ** The Museum is now delighted to announce the start of another project funded by The Patrick Foundation which will tell the story of two of the most influential characters in Britain’s motor industry, Herbert Austin and William Morris.

In conjunction with MG Motor UK, Lord Austin’s Office was carefully dismantled from inside the factory at Longbridge and transported to Gaydon. Thanks to this new funding, it will be reconstructed in a new exhibition alongside the office of William Morris which has been displayed in the Museum since 1994, having been relocated from Cowley. Together they offer an unrivalled opportunity for the public to connect with the stories of Austin and Morris and to understand the impact that both men had, and continue to have, on the motor industry in Britain and beyond. More information on the new exhibition including opening dates will be announced soon.

The Museum is extremely grateful for the significant support The Patrick Foundation has provided this year enabling these projects to happen.”

A brief history of Patrick Motors, the Patrick Motor Museum, PMG Investments, the Patrick Trust and the Patrick Foundation

The Early Years

Watercolour montage celebrating Patrick Motors Golden Jubilee in 1980
Watercolour montage celebrating Patrick Motors Golden Jubilee in 1980.                         Photo source  – PMG Investments.

In 1930, Albert Patrick, a director of the Britannic Assurance Company, bought Edgbaston Garage on the Bristol Road in Selly Oak. The purchase was made with an eye to providing long term security for his son Joseph, who already had a keen interest in motoring.

Joseph effectively took control of the garage later in the year and in 1931 employed Alan and Richard Jensen in the coachbuilding side of the business. They were soon made co-directors, leading to a change of company name to Patrick Jensen Motors Ltd.

However, disagreements between Joseph and the Jensen brothers on various aspects of running the operation caused the brothers to resign within a year. The business was then renamed, Patrick Motors Ltd.

Between 1930 and 1934, Patrick Motors built more than a thousand lightweight Specials, most using the Wolseley Hornet and Austin 10 chassis.  During this period, Joseph Patrick was also a successful trials and hill-climb driver, both in his own cars and a 1½-litre Singer. ** See below.

By 1934, as mainstream manufacturers began to offer more body styles of their own, the demand for Specials declined and Patrick Motors moved their focus to repairs, maintenance, and sales; particularly for Austin Cars, for whom they became a main dealer for more than 50 years.

After the Second World War, the company embarked on a period of rapid growth, acquiring a range of dealerships in Birmingham and elsewhere.  By 1959, they were one of the leading distributors for Daimler.

Motorsport and PMG Investments

In the 1970s, the Patrick Motor Group returned to motor sport and in 1978 and 1979. The team with Richard Longman, driving BL Mini 1275 GT, winning the British Saloon Car Championship in both those years.  During the 1980s, Patrick Motors began to withdraw from the motor trade and sold its final dealership in 1999. However, the company is still in existence today, as PMG Investments, focussing on the marketing, management and letting of commercial property.

The Patrick Motor Museum (aka “The Patrick Collection”)

In 1960, Joseph Patrick began to restore and collect private cars.  These, for a period of time, formed a small private museum, located in the Kings Norton area of Birmingham.

The origins of the museum go back to 1960 when the then chairman of Patrick Motors Ltd, Joseph Patrick, bought and renovated a 1934 Austin 10/4 that had originally been fitted with a coachbuilt body from Patrick Motors.  Over the years, the collection grew to some 250 cars and, during the 1980s, a purpose-built museum was constructed at Kings Norton to house the collection.

1934 Austin 10/4 with a Patrick Motors body
1934 Austin 10/4 with a Patrick Motors body, photographed at the Black Country Living Museum*

Unfortunately, the cost of the upkeep of all the exhibits became prohibitive, forcing the closure of the museum and the sale of many of its cars. However, not all the collection passed into private ownership.  In 2018, five cars, including a Daimler SP250, a Daimler Majestic Major, an Alvis Speed 25, and the original Patrick Austin Ten were given to the Black Country Living Museum* in nearby Dudley to form part of a new major exhibition. This collection is housed in a reconstruction of a former Darlington St., Wolverhampton, Car dealership called ‘Bradburn & Wedge’.

The Patrick Trust

The Patrick Trust is a general-purpose charity which provides grants to local charities. Its main focus is to provide support to charities looking to assist the young and the elderly. The Trust likes to help organisations that care for people with disabilities, located within the West Midlands.

The Patrick Foundation

The Patrick Foundation was first set up to establish the Patrick Museum as a charity to provide for the advancement of public education through the provision and maintenance of the Museum for exhibiting the vehicle collection to the public. Since the closure of the Museum and liquidation of the vehicle collection the foundation has supported enterprises similar to the one featured here. The main drivers are – Education and Transport topics.

** Click here –

Patrick Collection Singer Nine Le Mans comes to the British Motor Museum

Nick

 

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