Petition calls for museum of Longbridge MG Rover plant life

Longbridge site
The Longbridge site as it looked in 2003

By Mark Anthony  France  (Bromsgrove UK) for BBC NEWS ONLINE

A Worcestershire man has started a petition calling for a museum of working life at the former MG Rover site at Longbridge in Birmingham.

Mark France’s Working Life at Longbridge campaign aims for 1,250 signatures by 23 March.

He said: “We think there should be a permanent institution that records the lives, achievements and struggles of all the people that worked there.”

Around 14,000 people employed by the Rover group were based at Longbridge.

MG Rover went into administration in April 2005 when 6,000 jobs were lost.

‘Younger generation’

Mr France, from Bromsgrove, said: “My own grandfather, my father, my uncles, my aunties all worked at the plant – it’s been quite a shock to see parts of the site bulldozed down.

“I’d like to see a museum where young people could learn about the 100 year of Midlands industrial heritage – and get a flavour of what the shop floor was like in the hay day of the plant.”

Arif Latif, known as Harry, from Rubery in Birmingham has expressed support for the petition after working on the site from 1990 to 1993.

Arif Latif, former Longbridge worker
Arif Latif worked on the site in the early 90s and supports the idea of a museum

He said: “I think a lot of the younger generation would appreciate it – it’s important for them to know how it used to be and how hard people there worked.

“I’ve got old pictures of how it used to look in the cafe that I run so the museum could be like that on a bigger scale.”

The petition, which Mr France plans to submit to Bromsgrove District Council, is calling for the authority to support to the idea.

A spokesperson from Bromsgrove District Council said: “We’ve acknowledged this petition which was set up online using our Have Your Say consultation portal.

“As with any such petition it will be debated by members at a council meeting if it reaches 1,250 legitimate signatures.”