The Rootes Car Group was founded in Hawkhurst, operating out of a premises on the Cranbrook Road before moving to Maidstone. Rootes are famous for marques such as Hillman, Humber, Singer and Talbot.
2011 represented a number of significant events in the life of the Group, with the 80th anniversary of the Hillman Minx and the 50th of the Singer Vogue.
Working with the Association of Rootes Car Clubs, a celebration of Hawkhurst's association with the Group was held during 2011. Many owners of the brand, from the UK and Europe, were invited to the village as the first home of Rootes. On Saturday, 24th July, a cavalcade of Rootes motor-cars visited Goudhurst and Cranbrook. The Rootes Brothers had both attended Cranbrook School, and the Cranbrook Museum had organised a special "Rootes" exhibition in their honour for the months of July and August. On Sunday, 25th July, the Rootes cars were the highlight of a special classic car-show held on the George V Playing Field at The Moor, Hawkhurst.
“Back to our Rootes” - w/end of 23-24 July, 2011
The photo above is a 1933 Singer, 4-seater, 9HP.
The Rootes Group motor-car empire was founded in Hawkhurst by William Rootes in the 1880’s
Over 40 Classic Cars from the Rootes Group (marques such as Humber, Hillman, Singer and Talbot) made a “Back to our Rootes” pilgrimage to Goudhurst, Cranbrook and Hawkhurst over the week-end. Highlights of their tour included a visit to Cranbrook School which was attended by William’s two sons who later took over the business, the Cranbrook Museum, which had mounted a special exhibition in honour of the occasion, and the original Rootes cycle-shop in Hawkhurst established almost 130 years ago.
On Sunday, the cars were joined by a further 60 classic cars from the area in an impressive static display at The Moor, Hawkhurst, where the NFU Mutual also staged Hawkhurst’s second Local Produce and Craft Market to create a joint- event - enjoyed by an estimated 3,000 visitors.
Said Brian Fitzpatrick of the Hawkhurst Community Partnership which co-ordinated the organisation of both events “We were able to support this memorable week-end with the support of SEEDA-funding through Kent Rural Towns, and it was a privilege to welcome so many from the famous Rootes Group whose car-owners came from near and far to honour their origins here in Hawkhurst. Sunday’s grand Classic Car Show combined with a superb Local Produce and Craft Market on The Moor was an enormous success, with very broad appeal”.