Beaulieu makes one million historic motoring images available.

The Motoring Picture Library at the home of the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu has opened its digital doors to one of the largest motoring picture collections in the world. A new improved website is making access easier to over a million historic motoring images which span from the 1880s to the present day.

MPL has over 120,000 colour images and nearly a million black and white photographs filed and catalogued, with thousands of digital originals. Its subject matter includes cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles, covering the motor industry, motor sport, the social history of motoring and a huge range of motoring and motor sport personalities. It also includes spectacular motoring art in the form of sales brochures, posters and paintings.


Celebrated highlights include the Bill Brunell collection, depicting motorsport and social history from the Twenties and Thirties, and the specialist Formula 1 photography of the Fifties and Sixties by Maxwell Boyd.


Since it was established over 50 years ago by Edward, Lord Montagu, the library has grown to become one of the most comprehensive sources of motoring photographs, supplying pictures globally to enthusiasts as well as for commercial ventures, publishing, broadcast and advertising industries.


Picture Library Manager Jon Day: “The aim of MPL is to offer a fast, efficient and competitive service to every user, whether they be a major publisher or advertising agency, a public service, broadcaster, car club or motoring enthusiast. In every case, we are here to make sure you have the best chance of finding what you are looking for.”


MPL also has nearly a million further motoring images which are still to be digitised, so welcomes calls to source specific images. Picture researchers are welcome to visit in person, by prior appointment.


A fully equipped drive-in studio is also offered in the grounds of the National Motor Museum, which is available to hire for photographic shoots.

A film library was also established in 1979, with an initial aim to collect and conserve film on all aspects of motoring for future generations. The film library includes private collections – including those of Ford, Vauxhall, the Rootes Group, Metropolitan Police, the AA and Dunlop – and now comprises of nearly 40,000 items. It has installed its own broadcast standard telecine facility for transferring film to video in-house, as well as a High Definition Spirit telecine to transfer film to full HD. For details contact


The picture library is just one element of the National Motor Museum Trust’s work to preserve motoring history. The museum’s collection of over 280 vehicles is world-famous, along with its extensive range of motoring artefacts and specialist reference library. For more information about the Motoring Picture Library see THIS NEW WEBSITE LINKor contact Jon Day at or on 01590 614656

Christopher Macgowan


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Geoffrey Atkinson dies.

Geoffrey Atkinson OBE, the former chief executive of automotive industry charity Ben, has died after a short illness.

The 81-year-old passed away at home surrounded by his wife and family. He had been suffering from Alzheimers for a number of years.

After leaving school, he joined the Northern Drama School where one of his first roles was in the York Mystery Plays with Dame Judi Dench. 

He then spent several years treading the boards, in children’s theatre and in weekly rep.  He had a part in the Mousetrap when it was first on the London Stage and then went into TV with parts in Emergency Ward 10 and the Army Game.  

Acting was his first love but he made the decision to hand in his Equity Card when his first wife Ann became pregnant.

Realising he needed to start earning regular money he went to work for Heinz and after a time in production he then went on to become part of the sales team. 

From there Geoffrey moved to the oil industry and worked for Texaco.  So disgusted was he at the treatment of petrol site tenants that he decided to start up a Trade Association – The Petrol Retailers Association – in conjunction with Les Ward.

He made his mark in this sector and organised a mass rally of petrol tankers to drive into London and present a petition to Government. 

So successful was this that along with others his involvement finally saw the introduction of Government legislation to finally outlaw the restrictive trade practices of the major fuel retailers.

The PRA was then absorbed into the Motor Agents Association (now the Retail Motor Industry Federation) and following a year with the organisation he was approached to become the CEO of Ben, where he stayed for the remainder of his career, retiring at the age of 65 having served for 25 years.

He was responsible for starting to provide specialist care for young disabled people from the industry alongside Alzheimer’s care units in two of the four nursing and residential centres.

In conjunction with the then director of Welfare he set up the first industry day care centre at Peugeot in Coventry and the centre continues to thrive.

His leadership proved to be invaluable when the 1990 recession hit and he persuaded each member of staff to take a 5% pay cut, led by himself and also to volunteer to give five hours each week in the centres.

For his work he was awarded an OBE in 2000.

His funeral takes place on February 14 at 12 noon.  For details please contact Tina at In addition to his wife Tina, Geoffrey leaves three children, Kate, Tim and Mike, step daughter Kirsty and nine grandchildren.


By the time I arrived at the Retail Motor Industry Federation where I was Chief Executive from 1995 to 1999 the Petrol Retailers Association was already part of it and Geoffrey was well installed at BEN and was working his magic. I was soon to join the BEN board of trustees and worked with Geoffrey for many years. He was inspirational, highly individualistic and attracted huge loyalty from everyone around him.

Running a charity is no easy task but Geoffrey attracted support from the industry and it was with some pride he was able to say that the automotive industry had its own bespoke charity – not many sectors do – and that it was something we should be proud of and nurture. Also, unlike some charities that struggle to keep going, BEN has gone from strength to strength over the years, changing with the needs of the industry and delivering what is required in today’s world.

Geoffrey had many other interests. He was a very good photographer, an accomplished actor and as with everything he did, a sense of urgency and a can do attitude made things happen.

He was a delight and I value our relationship. Geoffrey would be horrified if I fell into the trap in this short tribute of only saying true but nice things about him. In getting things done he was capable of being acerbic (forthright) and direct (blunt) but anyone who knew him realised this was a means to an end; the end game was always helping people in the automotive industry who needed help.

Christopher Macgowan


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Ferrari – the world’s strongest brand.

Ferrari has been awarded the title of the world’s strongest brand for the second consecutive year by Brand Finance, the leading international independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy. With a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 94.1 out of 100, Ferrari tops the rankings of only 12 brands to be awarded the highest AAA+ rating.

Presented today during the World Economic Forum at Davos, the Brand Finance Global 500 2020 report calculates the value of the Ferrari brand at 9.1 billion USD with year on year growth of 9%, boosted by positive sales and overall brand strength.

Brand Finance determines brand value by estimating the net economic benefit to the brand owner of licensing the trademark on the open market. It measures brand strength on the basis of the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures compared to its competitors. 

Jason Harris
Direzione – Communication
Ferrari North Europe 275 Leigh Road, Slough, Berks SL1 4HF; UK
T (+44) 1753 878704    F (+44) 1753 878770    M (+44) 7748 333389 

Christopher Macgowan


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UK doubles electric charging point funding.

Britain has doubled funding for charge-points on residential streets, noting real-time information could also be made available, helping to cut waiting times by showing which power banks are being used.

In future, open data on public charge-points would allow for information to be added to satnavs and travel apps.

UK Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps said government funding will be doubled to GBP10m (US$13m) for the installation of charge-points on residential streets next year. This could fund up to another 3,600 charge-points across the country and make charging at home and overnight easier for those without an off-street parking space.

The government is also looking at how to make information about all public charge-points including locations and power ratings openly available in a standard format for the first time. The Department for Transport will look at how real-time information could be published, showing whether charge-points are in working order and currently in use, which could then be used by developers and incorporated into satnavs and route mapping apps

“We want to make electric cars the new normal, and ensuring drivers have convenient places to charge is key to that,” said Shapps.

“By doubling funding again for charge-points on streets where people live and opening up data, we are helping drivers locate and use reliable charge-points whether at home or on the road.”

Government and industry have supported the installation of more than 17,000 devices providing 24,000 publicly available charge-points, of which 2,400 are rapid versions. The UK now has one of the largest charging networks in Europe with more locations for charging than there are petrol stations.

The Department for Transport adds government has challenged industry to provide debit and credit card payment at all newly-installed rapid charge-points and develop a roaming solution across the network, allowing electric vehicle drivers to use any public charge-point through a single app or payment method.

The announcement follows the establishment of the government’s National Chargepoint Registry (NCR) in 2011, which is an open source of data for all public charge-points.

All publicly funded charge-points are already required to be uploaded onto the NCR, but the government now aims to ensure information on all public charge-points is released.


Christopher Macgowan


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Elon Musk set to cash in at Tesla as deliveries and shares soar | Technology | The Guardian

The boss of the electric carmaker has a $50bn pay package ready to roll if the firm hits a $100bn valuation
— Read on

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A Blast from the Past.

invited to join Forgotten Favourites at the event in the grounds of the National Motor Museum. 


Owners who would like to take part with their 1960-1990 classic vehicles should get in touch with the Beaulieu events team to be considered – places are limited and show entry is free for vehicles that are accepted. Successful owners will receive a pair of three-day entry wristbands for International Autojumble, an unmissable date on the classic car calendar to find rare parts and automobilia bargains on over 2,000 stands.


For event-goers, modern classics are sure to be well represented – especially with the Austin Metro and Fiat Panda both reaching their 40th birthdays in 2020. These pint-sized hatchbacks are welcome to drive into the diverse display.


From the Vauxhall Chevette, Renault 16, Austin Allegro and Datsun Bluebird, to the Volkswagen Polo, Citroen CX, Triumph Toledo and Volvo 240, not to mention the scarcely-seen DAF 66, Talbot Samba and Fiat 131 . . . all examples are welcome. To apply to take part in Forgotten Favourites click here or call 01590 614614 for details.

Christopher Macgowan


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No alignment post-Brexit

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