Featured 26 Oct 1983 Image
Demolition worker Les Gilbert prepares the Morris rebus for its move to the Museum of
Demolition worker Les Gilbert prepares the Morris rebus for its move to the Museum of British Road Transport at Cook Street, Coventry. For 50 years a stone ox, carved on an 8-ft-long lintel weighing one and a half tons, looked down at visitors to the Coventry Engines plant at Courthouse Green. It was the symbol of a factory, better known as Morris Engines, whichmade its name as the plant best-equipped in the Morris and later the BL car empire to tackle the more complex engine designs. The ox stood over the entrance to the main office block and has been carefully lifted down by the demolition team which has been clearing the site since November. Other historic artefacts from the site including records and part of the engine track, are already stored. The 40-acre factory closed last June with the loss of 1, 500 jobs. BL announced last autumn that it would be demolished. North Western Metal Company of Rowleys Green Lane, paid BL £70, 000 for the demolition job, which meant that the metal firm could take away scrap. The factory produced the prestigious Mini Coopers power unit and the entire range of MG sports car engines. At its peak in the 50s and 60s Morris Engines was manufacturing more than 40 types of car engines with a workforce of 5, 500.
26th October 1983