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Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust partnership supports classic vehicle restoration students with Swallow Sidecar project at Activate Learning

Activate Learning are partnering with Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust on a project that will see classic vehicle restoration students restore a Swallow Sidecar to its former glory.

The project was officially launched by Michael Quinn, grandson of Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons, at the City of Oxford College Technology Campus on Cuddesdon Way last night.

Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust have loaned the Swallow Sidecar to support classic vehicle restoration students learning at Banbury and Bicester College.

Michael Quinn, Patron at Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust said, said: “I felt very honoured to be able to participate in the launch of the Activate Learning Swallow Sidecar project, for Banbury and Bicester College.

“The enthusiasm from staff and students for this venture was evident and I was delighted to be have the opportunity to give some background as to how my grandfather was responsible for the sidecar coming into existence.

“I am greatly looking forward to seeing how the initiative develops as there are many aspects to it, in addition to the craftsman-ship angle, such as archive research, and technical drawing. It is of vital importance to nurture and promote these skills in order that our great engineering industry can continue to thrive into the future.”

This key partnership project will see students from Banbury and Bicester College restore the former Swallow Sidecar, trying to retain the character of the original believed to be made between 1922-1923.

The Swallow Sidecar requires extensive restoration work and will challenge the students’ knowledge and abilities while working with the dismantled components provided.

Tony Merrygold, Vehicle Collection Manager at Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, said: “Our industry faces a shortage of skills in the near future. 

“The Trust believes it is vitally important to be working with Banbury and Bicester College and this project is the first step in a long-term collaboration to help with the education of the next generation of classic car technicians.”

Students from the college presented their restoration research at the launch and will soon begin working on the swallow sidecar restoration as part of their studies at Bicester Heritage.

Lee Jamieson, Director of Curriculum for Technology at Activate Learning, said:

“To be able to work on restoring an original Swallow Sidecar is a career-defining experience for our classic vehicle restoration students. To have this opportunity so early in their career will, I am sure, set them up with the skills and knowledge they require to follow fruitful careers in this industry.

“Our partnership with Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust will not only secure the future careers of our current students, but also help support an industry struggling with a skills shortage.

“This is why Activate Learning is expanding its classic restoration provision from our specialist workshop in Bicester Heritage to also include courses at our Technology Campus in Oxford from September 2019.”

Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust will continue to review their progress throughout the project.

The Swallow Sidecar is missing numerous parts, requiring students to use their expertise, skills and initiative to assemble and restore the sidecar to its former glory.

Activate Learning are proposing to expand their classic vehicle restoration and maintenance provision to City of Oxford College Technology Campus in the future.

If you would like to know more about classic vehicle restoration and maintenance programmes available at Activate Learning, please visit our website or contact us on 0800 612 6008.


Activate Learning is a forward-thinking education group working across further and higher education, schools, apprenticeships and training. We transform lives through learning.

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