Heritage & Culture Warwickshire
Warwickshire County Record Office is a County Council run organisation that collects, preserves and provides access to documents recording the history of the county, its people and places. The archive holds records dating from the 12th century to the present; the collections cover a wide variety of historical documents from deeds to photographs and include many records from the local country estates, schools, solicitors' firms, hospitals and local government amongst others. These records are regularly deposited with us, and we keep all of them in a secure and safe environment so that they will be preserved for future generations. We are a County Council funded organisation and most of our records are publicly accessible on request in our searchroom.
We were approached by members of the family in 2014, regarding the transfer of the archive material that had been retained by Geoffrey Healey. We were grateful for the opportunity to keep part of the archive of this remarkable company in Warwick and started fundraising. The biggest contribution was that of the Heritage Lottery Fund as it was then called, and we are grateful to all the funding bodies, companies and individuals that generously contributed to the project.
The collection encompasses material from the beginnings of the company in 1945 (in fact there is some printed material covering some of Donald’s motoring exploits before the war) up to the activities of Healey Automobile Consultants still in operation in the 1980s. One of the strengths of the collection is what it reveals about Donald and Geoffrey’s post Jensen activities including records on a Canadian car project, the Fiesta Healey, some designs for Saab and a project relating to the generation of electricity through wind power.
There are hundreds of photographs of various Healey models including action shots, manufacture of the vehicles, celebrities, and the Healey family. Some of these images were used in books written by Geoffrey Healey but many have never been in the public domain including research and development work and the racing heritage.
We have recently launched an exhibition to celebrate the Donald Healey Motor Company with our colleagues from Market Hall Museum. It contains material from the archive and also other artefacts loaned to us for the exhibition.
We are delighted that the Healey name will remain a feature at Warwickshire County Record Office and has become woven into the complex tapestry of Warwickshire’s long and enduring history.