AN Oxford University college has restored a permanent tribute to the birthplace of the city’s car industry.

Last year New College removed photographs and memorabilia of car manufacturer William Morris for storage as building work started on revamped student accommodation.

Oxford Mail:

Pat Mylvaganam led a campaign to ensure the site was properly celebrated and yesterday college warden Miles Young met motoring enthusiasts as the new window display at 21 Longwall Street was revealed.

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Mr Morris, who became Lord Nuffield, took over the buildings in 1902 from where he repaired bicycles before constructing a garage and workshop and eventually building his first motor car.

In the 1980s it was developed as student accommodation which has now been expanded and refurbished.

Mr Young said: “I am delighted the window has been restored - it was a shame it had to be closed for such a long time.

Oxford Mail:

“For such a small display it has a surprising amount of loyalty - we have already seen people looking at the new display.

“The old display got a little jaded so this was a good opportunity to refresh it.

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“The garage is an iconic part of Oxford’s heritage and it is important that members of the public hace a chance to see the role it played in our industrial history.”

Last year the Morris Garage, the original home of Morris Motors, was selected by Historic England as one of the top ten places in Industry, Trade and Commerce as part of its Irreplaceable: A History of England in 100 Places campaign.

The new display includes information and photographs detailing the history of the garage and artefacts from William Morris’s time – a car radiator and his two-branch table lamp. It was crafted by museum designer Byung Kim.

Oxford Mail:

Andy Smith, chairman of the Bullnose Morris Club, drove his 1921 Morris Oxford from Reading to the celebrations.

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He has owned the historic car for eight years, inheriting it from the previous owner.

He said: “I think it’s very important that the college continues to recognise the history of the building.

“Once I became aware the contents of the window had been removed last year I was hopeful they would be restored.

“The new display is much better than the previous one - it’s very informative and well laid out.”

The college said earlier it had been in discussions with the Friends of Nuffield Place, Lord Nuffield’s Oxfordshire home now owned by the National Trust, about how the window display could be improved.

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Production of the Morris Oxford started in 1912 and after the factory moved to Temple Cowley in1914 the garage became a showroom for Morris Cars.

Oxford Mail:

Then, under William Morris’s assistant Cecil Kimber, it was the place where the MG car was invented and made, before manufacturing was switched to Abingdon.

The new window celebrates both William Morris and Cecil Kimber.