Jacquelyn Andrews from campaign group Save Our Town outlines their passionate vision for preserving the unique Vauxhall car collection.
Luton’s Best Kept Secret
During the latter stages of 2020 Save Our Town highlighted the perceived threat to the town of losing what Save our Town called “LUTON’S BEST KEPT SECRET” – the superb collection of more than fifty historic Vauxhall cars, together with some Bedford commercial vehicles.
For well over a year, hundreds of hours of their volunteers’ time has been spent working with Luton Borough Council, The Culture Trust Luton and Vauxhall Motors to find ways of ensuring these precious artefacts of Luton’s rich 20th Century Industrial Heritage are preserved and celebrated in their spiritual home town.
A Unique Collection
Make no mistake; this is a collection as good, in fact better, than any other UK manufacturer’s collection of classic cars. It is worthy of being the centrepiece of a nationally important museum/visitor attraction. Just as importantly, however, it physically represents the social history of tens of thousands of families in and around Luton. Vauxhall was the economic driving force behind Luton for nearly a hundred years and the reason why so many people settled in the town from all over the British Isles, the Commonwealth and beyond.
Save our Town want to tell their stories as well as celebrate what they did, what they made and why they came here.
A funding application to The National Heritage Lottery Fund is in process to research and develop the viability of a facility and concept that Luton and its people can be proud of and that will hopefully also showcase the skills, expertise and enterprise of Luton firms and their people in the 21st Century.
Together, we visualise a centre for education, community, celebration of common heritage with a broad ‘Made in Luton’ theme; something we can all be proud of and that will bring more economic and cultural benefits to the area. We’ll not only be looking backwards at the many big (and not so big) manufacturing firms – and their products and people – that ‘made’ us and our town great but also embracing the now and the future; the technologies, the firms and enterprises and, critically, the people that will be ‘standing on the shoulders of those giants’ going forwards.
In the interim and before the desired return to its spiritual home, Save our Town can confirm that the Vauxhall Heritage Collection of historic vehicles are on full time display at The British Motor Museum at Gaydon in Warwickshire.