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Awards and Loans

The Trust offers financial assistance to individuals or groups to carry through restoration or improvement projects to completion. The Trust also invites enquiries about sponsoring one or more Awards.

Association of Rootes Car Clubs and the Rootes Archive Centre Trust

 

Our Preservationist of the Year Award this year is unusual in that it recognises the preservation not of a vehicle but of an archive of precious information and drawings.

In 2002 the Chairman of the Association of Rootes Car Clubs, which had been founded in 1982, took a call from the facilities manager at Peugeot (owners of Rootes Group since 1978) who was faced with a warehouse full of old Rootes documents and drawings. As a car enthusiast, he had done a quick internet search on Rootes and found the Association. His call was pivotal in saving the archives of the Rootes Group.

The warehouse had to be cleared quickly otherwise its contents would be scrapped. The Chairman organised 2 large trucks and the entire warehouse was emptied and taken to the warehouse of a member of the Association who had kindly agreed to store it short term, or so he thought!

The haul consisted of original materials from Rootes/Chrysler Engineering departments from 1920 – 1980 and included:

  • 150,000 full size original Engineering drawings
  • 150,000 drawings on microfiche
  • Extensive photographic library
  • Literature & Company documentation
  • Artefacts of the company including the boardroom table from Rootes London headquarters.

Tubes

Boardroom

In 2004 the Rootes Archive Centre Trust (RACT) was created and registered with the Charity Commission. All the material was transferred into the ownership of the Trust. The future of the material was now securely protected.

 

The first dedicated home was near Aylesbury but rising rents caused a move to Banbury, where the same cycle of increasing costs called for a review of the Trust’s future. The Trustees decided the only option they could support was to break the cycle of renting and buy a freehold property and in November 2015 the Trust launched their building fund to raise £165,000.

The fundraising started at a fast pace and by late 2015 the Trust identified a suitable site at Wroxton near Banbury. One of the ARCC clubs offered the Trust a loan to achieve their goal more quickly and put down a deposit.

The Trust finally took possession of their new building on 27th October 2017; with the amazing support of the Rootes community the Trust had raised £105,500 and had secured loans from individuals and clubs to cover the £76,500 balance. All the archive material from the old Banbury centre was moved into its new home at Wroxton.

The archive has become the Headquarters of the ARCC and many of the ARCC clubs will use it as their companies house registered address and to hold their committee meetings.

Front

The Grand Opening of the Archive Centre was held on 22nd April 2018 with the official opening being performed by Lord Nicolas Rootes and the Rev. Bill Rootes, grandsons of the company founder, William Rootes.

This is an inspirational tale and the achievement thoroughly merits the award of Preservationist of the Year.

 

The Transport Trust makes loans to groups, associations and individuals at advantageous rates for the restoration of artefacts - whether mobile or part of the infrastructure.  Applications must be supported by a simple business plan which demonstrates the financial viability of the project. A sample business plan is available on request from the Treasurer.

 

The Trust does occasionaly make Awards for schemes which further the preservation movement. Again if you wish further information please contact the Treasurer.

 

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