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Mum's joy at centenary cavalcade for Cowley car plant
CARS produced at the Cowley plant will roll back the years with a special cavalcade to celebrate the factory’s centenary.
One hundred years of car making will be marked with the rally on Good Friday, March 29.
Forty Oxford-built vehicles will gather at the BMW Mini plant at about 9am before heading to Broad Street in the city centre.
The vehicles will be on show from 10.30am until about 4pm.
- BMW spokesman Wayne Morse said an invitation-only event was being held at the Mini car plant on Thursday, March 28, to launch a new centenary exhibition.
- Guests will include car club representatives and politicians.
- Then on the weekend beginning Saturday, April 6, the exhibition will be opened to associates at the plant and their families.
- Mr Morse said: “The exhibition will feature cars, memorabilia, brochures, badges and flags.
- “Members of the public can see the exhibition when they come on plant tours and we are also considering opening it up on certain days.”
- The five current BMW Minis are also touring eight former production locations, from today until March 27.
- The Oxford Mail is publishing a special eight-page supplement on Thursday, March 28, marking the event.
The celebratory cavalcade is being organised by mum-of-three and Mini enthusiast Tanya Field, 41, from Mark Road, Headington.
Her husband Jason, 41, works as an IT manager at the plant, and the family owns eight old Minis, an Austin Maestro, a Montego and a Metro.
To publicise the rally, Mrs Field, who works with people suffering mental health problems, visited Broad Street on Wednesday with her silver Y-reg Maestro, made at Cowley in May, 1983.
Mrs Field said: “The first Bullnose Morris left the old military college in Hollow Way on March 29, 1913.
“We thought it would be a good idea to have one leading the cavalcade and have found one dating back to 1926.
“Since 1913, Cowley has produced 11 million vehicles, employed tens of thousands of people, and continues to employ 4,000 people today, producing the very successful Mini.
“While Oxford has produced a great variety of various Morris models, many other marques – including Austin-Healey, MG, Wolseley, Riley, Austin, Mini and Rover – have also been produced at the factory.”
Mrs Field said the 40 vehicles would include five BMW Minis and a silver MG Maestro from 1983 featuring a talking dashboard.
She added: “Car clubs and BMW are staging a variety of celebrations but this will be an opportunity for current and former staff from the plant to celebrate.
“The cavalcade will pass as many significant places as possible, including the old North and South Works, Hollow Way and the Longwall garage.”
Good Friday will also feature a centenary re-enactment of the first Bullnose Morris leaving the former military college in Bennett Crescent, Cowley.
The vehicle will depart at 9.15am and travel to Nuffield Place, near Wallingford, the former home of William Morris, who founded the plant.
Last year, Mrs Field organised a convoy of Minis, Maestros, Montegos and Maxis to travel to the Pride of Longbridge Rally in the West Midlands.
The BMW Mini plant has welcomed the cavalcade.
For further information, visit facebook.com/CentenaryCavalcadeAndDisplay29thMarch2013.