Residents and colleagues at Great Alne Park retirement community, which was built on the former site of the Maudslay Motor Company, have been working on a history project to uncover more information about the local significance of the site.
Great Alne Park retirement community, which is owned by later living provider, Inspired Villages, is located in 78-acres of parkland, in Great Alne, Warwickshire.
When resident Doug Badger and wife Krys moved into the village in January 2019 they soon become aware of the site’s industrial heritage and vowed to find out more. Their interest was sparked further when a friend who had previously been an apprentice for the Maudslay Motor Company visited them.
Many visitors to the onsite restaurant, which is also open to the public, have also enquired about the site’s heritage. Doug therefore set out to begin the history project and during lockdown has conducted telephone interviews with 15 ex-employees who worked at the Maudslay site from 1945-2005. With 1400 people working at the site in its heyday company formed an important part of history for the community.
After appealing to the local community for more information and photographs of the site, residents and the village team have come together over the past 18 months to create a history project and memory wall at the village.
Former employees and those with memories of the site previously known as Castle Maudslay, were invited to join residents for a coffee morning at the village on Wednesday 8th September to share their experiences and view the project, which features a series of historic photographs and scrapbook.
The project is available for viewing and reading by the general public in the restaurant area of the clubhouse at Great Alne Park. Visitors can see the memory wall, as well as a book entitled ‘Memories of Castle Maudslay’, which includes pictures and extracts from interviews. There is also a scrapbook which contains summaries of all the interviews, site maps and diagrams, press cuttings and more photographs.
The site was purchased by later living operator Inspired Villages in 2014 and the main 19th Century hall (previously known as Castle Maudslay) was recreated as the central village clubhouse with state-of-the-art communal facilities including a bar, restaurant, spa, gym, library, cinema and games room.
Castle Maudslay was built in 1937-1939 by property developer, Mr Swiffen. The bombing of Coventry in November 1940 was one of the more destructive raids of the Second World War and several children were evacuated from the city centre and billeted at the property. In 1941 the site was sold to the Maudslay Motor Company who moved from Coventry to Great Alne during the Second World War to avoid air raids, so they could transfer their wartime production of general service vehicles, tank and aircraft components.
If you have information to contribute to the history project or scrap book, please contact: [email protected]
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