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20th Sep, 2021

'Factor Us In' - Exhibition at British Motor Museum aims to tell the fascinating stories behind the Midlands' car-making past

A NEW exhibition which looks at the fascinating stories behind the Midlands car-making industry’s history s taking place at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon.

‘Factor Us In’ – the culmination of a two-year project – officially opened last week and will run until the summer of 2022.

It looks at the societal impact of the factories, the highs and lows of car production and everyday life, reflecting on the legacies they left behind.

Contributors gather at the Factor Us In exhibition. Picture by Marcus Mingins 2921015MMR3 www.buyphotos247.com

The exhibition primarily focuses on Canley in Coventry, Longbridge and Lode Lane in Solihull, exploring the community response to key moments, such as manufacturing booms, strike action, the subsequent loss of industry and recent efforts for redevelopment and diversification in employment.

‘Factor Us In’ uses a combination of the museum’s rich collections of archival material, artefacts and oral history videos and recordings to illustrate those themes.

Its style is very much of overheard conversations, celebrating the people that helped make the factory communities what they are today.

Contributor John Batchelor listens to some of the history via telephone. Photo by Marcus Mingins 2921015MMR1 www.buyphotos247.com

The exhibition will evolve continually throughout its run and so the museum is very keen to engage with more people to incorporate their own recollections during its lifetime, unlocking more stories of motor car communities.

The museum wants to encourage local people to engage with the history on their doorstep that has dominated the West Midlands for more than a century.

Alongside the physical temporary exhibition, the museum will also have an online counterpart. ‘Factor Us in’ which has been made possible, in part, by Arts Council England funding.

The exhibition is included as part of a normal museum entry.

Museum entry is £14.50 for adults, £12.50 for concessions, £9 for children (five to 16 years) and under fives are free.

Visitors can Gift Aid or donate their entry fee and get an annual pass in return, at no extra cost.

Visit britishmotormuseum.co.uk/factor-us-in for more information.

Anyone with a story to share or some West Midlands motor industry artefacts to loan should email museum@britishmotormuseum.co.uk

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