Ryton was built during the war under the government’s shadow factory scheme. It provided Rootes with a second plant to boost armaments production. After the war it became the primary Rootes car plant. It was used for production of the Minx and its variants (1945-1969), Super Minx (1961-1967), Hunter (1966-1969), Avenger (1970-1976), Humbers (1945-1969), Gazelle and Vogue (1956-1969), Sunbeam-Talbots (1945-1957), Rapier (1955-1969), Alpine (1962-1969), and more recently Talbot Alpine/Solara/Horizon, and Peugeot 309, 405, 306 and 206. Car production ended in 2007. The site is now home to Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations although to the best of my knowledge all the Rootes era buildings have been cleared.
My photographs here are a bit disappointing. The plant was surrounded by trees and I found it hard to get any decent photos from ground level. In the end I had to settle for the plant entrance. I wasn’t allowed in here, despite the “Welcome” sign.
At the time, the plant was still in use for car production and I got the impression they did not want prying eyes watching what went on.
The plant was at the junction of the A45 (London Road) and A423 (Oxford Road).
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The following photos were taken on 26 April 1998.