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
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.