MG: MADE IN ABING­DON — ECHOES FROM THE SHOPFLOOR

Bob Frampton Pub­lished 2018 by Ve­loce, which sup­plied the re­view copy ISBN 978-1-787112-68-1 Re­view by Mark Hol­man

New Zealand Classic Car - - AUTOMOBILIA -

Now, I’m an MG owner, so this book had a par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est for me and turned out to be an en­joy­able read.

Rather than a de­scrip­tion of the cars that came out of Abing­don, the book con­cen­trates on how they were built and by who. So, it’s full of anec­dotes from the peo­ple on the shop floor, trade-union ac­tiv­i­ties, those who ac­com­pa­nied the works team and ral­lies, the tea boys, the tele­phone op­er­a­tors, and many more.

The switch to pro­duc­ing war ma­te­rial dur­ing World War II is included, as the book goes back to the late 1920s. Work­ing conditions would seem prim­i­tive nowa­days, but there does seem to have been a gen­uine feel­ing of ca­ma­raderie among those who worked at Abing­don and a real sense of shock when the fac­tory closed, al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter the com­pany’s 50th jubilee cel­e­bra­tions.

It’s not all work ei­ther: the so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties around the fac­to­ries are included, too — from dec­o­rated assem­bly lines at Christ­mas to the so­cial-club band and beauty pageants! And I hadn’t re­al­ized that MG also ran a fac­tory driv­ing school.

Within these 160 pages, the au­thor has as­sem­bled a great mix of mem­o­ries from those who were in­volved in cre­at­ing Abing­don’s MGS, ac­com­pa­nied by plenty of black and white pho­tos.

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