Monday, October 21, 2013

Morris Garage

Ok. I must confess I cannot guarantee there is a Royal Enfield in that picture. In fact, most likely there isn't. But I couldn't resist blogging about such a magnificent display of motorcycles. This picture was taken in front (or more likely in the back) of Morris Garage, so the motorcycles were probably Morris. This is what the place looks like today in Longwall St., Oxford. The Bing maps photo allows to see a bit of the back where the picture was presumably taken, next to the old city wall (upper left of the picture). Longwall street gets its name from the fact that it is bordered by the wall of Magdalen College's deek park (to the bottom right in the picture)
The Morris Garage is where William Morris started manufacturing bicycles, then motorcycles and eventually cars. The place had been a livery stables before. Morris cars would go on to be legendary, including the sporty MG brand and the Mini Morris, voted the 2nd most influential car in history after the Ford Model T. He was eventually knighted as Baron Nuffield and later becoming Lord Nuffield. The company disappeared through various mergers, but the name Morris still was associated with cars till 1984 when British Leyland Austin Rover Group (talk about mergers!) decided to concentrate on the more popular Austin brand. Now the brand is the property of the Chinese company SAIC after being transferred from bankrupt subsidiary Nanjing Automotive. Lord Nuffield played an important role in philanthropy, founding Nuffield College in Oxford among other endeavors. He passed away in 1963. Today the front of the building seems to have a small display with information about Morris Motors in one of the windows.

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