The Rootes Group was part of my childhood. My Dad had a Humber Hawk and then a Super-Snipe. My mother had a Hillman Minx, and my sister and I learnt to drive in a Hillman Husky. My uncle rallied Sunbeam Rapiers.
Then better known as Major General Bill Williams, my father had led the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in WW2. Motor vehicles including those made by Rootes factories were core to its activities. Rootes, and indeed all the British motor industry played a huge role in the war effort. Sir William Rootes, co-founder of the Group, was a key player in the Ministry of Supply.
My father became a Director of Rootes in 1946, and was given the task of creating Ladbroke Hall, a state of the art depot for commercial and domestic vehicles.
Once Ladbroke Hall was up and running, he was moved to the export division. My mother kept albums recording events from this time with many photographs, invitations, copies of speeches, travel documents. The Middle East was the key market and he went on a UK Trade Mission in 1953. One name that keeps appearing is Emile Bustani .
I have written a third book, Dunkirk to D Day, to sit alongside my books War on Wheels and Ordnance, looking at some of the key people who served the RAOC in both World Wars. Rootes features significantly in this and in my most recent book, How Britain Shaped the Manufacturing World.
I would greatly value anything Rootes enthusiasts can tell me of this period. He retired in 1956.