Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust launches ‘The Women Who Made Their Marque’ exhibition

Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust launches ‘The Women Who Made Their Marque’ exhibition

1956 Browns Lane polishing a Jaguar Mk1 instrument panel

Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust

Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust – The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust has launched a new exhibition, ‘The Women Who Made Their Marque’, celebrating the remarkable women that have been integral to Jaguar’s storied history, from its conception to the present day. This unique exhibition, held at the Jaguar Collections Centre based at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon, highlights just a small selection of the women without whom Jaguar wouldn’t be the brand it is today.

Inspirational stories of women who made, sold, and drove Jaguars will be brought to life through a curated collection of photographs, documents, artifacts, and vehicles from the Trust’s extensive archives. Visitors will have the opportunity to discover the pivotal roles played by these trailblazers in shaping the legacy of one of the world’s most iconic automotive brands.

1979 first female apprentices to join Jaguar

Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust

The Women Who Made Their Marque are:

Alice Fenton
An absolute tower of strength, Lyons relied on Alice tremendously. Having joined the Swallow Side Car Company in 1925 she would rise to become the first woman Jaguar executive in 1957 and the highest paid woman in the British motor industry. She was there on sheer ability.

Connie Teather
Another one of the ‘originals’ from Blackpool and close friend of Alice Fenton, Connie left her home, aged 17, and moved to Coventry. Her memoir, “A Swallow Summer” captures the hectic social life with fellow employees and long working hours to get the fledgling Company off the ground.

Bibiana Boerio
Born to an Italian-American family in the USA, Bibiana joined Jaguar in 1995. Ford & Chief Finance Officer from 2001. In 2004 she became the first ever woman to serve as the Managing Director of Jaguar Cars. During her time at Jaguar, sales doubled and she oversaw the launch of the new XK.

Lady Lyons
William Lyons met Greta Brown in Blackpool in 1921 and they married in 1924. They remained a close and devoted couple for over sixty years. While Greta was not employed by the company, there is little doubt that Lyons could not have made SS and Jaguar such a success without Greta by his side to encourage him in his endeavours.

Joska Bourgeois
A member of the Belgian wartime resistance, she credited her escape from her pursuers in a Coventry-built SS Saloon. After repeatedly calling on William Lyons at the Jaguar factory in 1945 and refusing to leave until she had negotiated a five-year contract, she would sell Jaguars in Belgium for the next thirty years.

Patricia Appleyard
William Lyons’ first child, Pat went on to achieve considerable success as co-driver and navigator in over twenty international rallies with her husband, Ian. Driving a Jaguar XK120 (NUB 120), together they became the first team to be awarded a gold cup for having won three Alpine Cups in a row and in the same car.

Barbara Bergmeier
Barbara joined Jaguar Land Rover as Executive Director, Industrial Operations in July 2022 with more than thirty years’ experience in the automotive and aerospace industries. A key priority for her is the creation of a sustainable supply chain that delivers greater efficiency and resilience in a new age of electrification and digitization.

Attendees will be treated to archive and current footage that showcases women manufacturing, driving, and discussing their contributions and experiences within the company. This immersive experience is designed to highlight the role of women in the automotive industry, past and present.

The exhibition will showcase the personal vehicle of Greta, Lady Lyons, and the XK120, co-driven to victory in three Alpine Rallies by their daughter Pat Appleyard, highlighting the significant impact of the Lyons family on Jaguar’s success. Additionally, a Norman Hartnell-designed dress worn by Lady Lyons, depicted in a portrait by renowned artist Norman Hepple, will be displayed, providing a unique glimpse into the elegance associated with Jaguar’s legacy.

A special feature of the exhibition is a short screening derived from an informal group discussion among women from JLR, JLR Classic, and JDHT volunteers. This discussion focused on women’s perceptions of the Automotive Industry and their lived experiences, offering invaluable insights into the challenges and progress made within the industry.

Joanne Shortland, Head Archivist at the JDHT said, “The Jaguar marque would not be where it is today without the contribution of the many dedicated and innovative women of its past, it has been a wonderful opportunity to showcase and celebrate their part in one of Britain’s most iconic brands”.

About Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust – Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Established in 1983, is a registered charitable Trust. Their purpose is to establish, maintain and promote for the benefit of the nation, the permanent preservation of historic archives, artifacts and motor vehicles manufactured and sold by Jaguar Cars Ltd. (now renamed Jaguar Land Rover Ltd.) and its predecessor companies under the marque names of Swallow, SS, Jaguar, Daimler and Lanchester, where such vehicles are of actual potential historic, scientific importance and education value.

Their mission is: “To be the active custodians of Jaguar’s history, its vehicles and its archives, working alongside Jaguar Land Rover to share and promote that history for posterity.”

location: Coventry Transport Museum | Millennium Place, Hales St, Coventry CV1 1JD, United Kingdom

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