This new exhibition from the British Motor Museum ‘Factor Us In’ opened on 22 July and is the culmination of a two year-project to uncover the stories behind the motor industry and of the people who worked and lived around it. In a year where the sense of community is more important than ever, the Museum wants to encourage local people to engage with the history on their doorstep, the history of an industry that has dominated the West Midlands for more than a century.
‘Factor Us In’ puts the spotlight firmly on how the motor industry in the West Midlands affected people, the local landscape and surrounding businesses. The exhibition looks at the societal impact of the factories, the highs and lows of their production, as well as everyday life and reflect on the legacies they left behind.
The exhibition primarily focuses on recollections from the communities of Canley in Coventry, Longbridge in Birmingham and Lode Lane, Solihull. It explores the community response to key moments across the industry including manufacturing booms, strike actions, 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. 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 exhibition will run from 22 July 2021 until summer 2022. Alongside the physical temporary exhibition, the Museum will also have an online counterpart. ‘Factor Us in’ has in part been made possible by funding of Arts Council England.
The exhibition is included as part of a normal Museum entry. To find out more information about the exhibition please visit the website at www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/factor-us-in