Local History

Frampton, B. (2018) MG, Made in Abingdon: Echoes from the shopfloor. (s.l.): Veloce Publishing Ltd.

I grew up in Abingdon, a town a few miles south of Oxford. In all the time I was living there, at school or later, I was aware of the existence of the MG factory. It was a fact of life that the factory was there and one of the three big employers in the town. In my teenage years I lived in a village outside Abingdon where a branch line joined the main railway and every day would bring MG cars from the factory to go on to be exported, USA mainly.

I was present in 1979 at the golden jubilee celebrations, with floats and precessions through the town to celebrate 50 years of the car. A year later the factory closed for good; various reasons were given but mainly the pound to dollar exchange rate meant sales in the USA were no longer profitable enough.

Soon after I moved away from Abingdon but go back there often enough to be aware of what has happened to the site. The old and rather run down factory buildings have been replaced by new industrial units, a retail park, housing, a police station and even a McDonalds. The difference between then and now is huge. I would try to illustrate this change by photographing areas corresponding to various features of the old site with captions listing what these areas used to be.

I have found Bob Frampton’s book (above) invaluable; as well as many personal memories from people who worked there over the years, he lists the exact location of many parts of the factory. The website link listed above shows part of a leaflet produced by the MG Car Club which shows a map of the factory as it was when it closed in 1980.


  1. […] Moylan, B.J. (1995) Story Behind the Octagon. (First Edition) (s.l.): Ex-Wholesaler titles. Long, R. (1997) A Walk Across England: A Walk of 382 Miles in 11 Days from the West Coast to the East Coast of England. (01 edition) (s.l.): Thames & Hudson. https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/leisure-and-culture/history/oxfordshire-history-centre https://simon513313landscape.wordpress.com/2019/04/20/local-history/ […]


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