John Donegan (STAR) was instrumental  in working with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and the Hawkhurst Village Society to have a plaque commemorating William Rootes installed on the premises known as “Rootes House” in the village of Hawkhurst in Kent.

This house and shop front location is where William Rootes first set up his business in 1898 as a motor and cycle works.


 Rootes Commemorative Plaque



 Advertising Poster reflects the Extent of Rootes in the 40’s

rootes story.1

(double click rootes story.1)


                                                          Copyright – Ronald White (Maidstone)

This photograph was located in a cupboard in the Rootes building in Maidstone, along with many others reflecting the history of activity associated with the Rootes family.

It shows the building in 1953, where it can be seen that there are Sunbeam Talbots in the showroom window and  flags to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

Also a fleet of Ford models being refueled by men in white coats, dedicated to give you the fuel of your choice, either BP, Shell, Cleveland and some other brands as well.


                                                         Copyright – Ronald White (Maidstone)

Rootes showroom, Maidstone in 1928 

The boxes of photographs and albums have now been taken to archive in Coventry.


Photograph of the Grade II listed Rootes building in Maidstone 2013

looking for a bit of a make-over.

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2 Responses to The Rootes Group Story

  1. Roger Foote says:

    Hi, Saw this and wondered why William Rootes memorial plaque is dated to 1955. I think he passed away in the 1960s. Regards, Roger.

    • STAR says:

      Well, this plaque refers to Old Father William Rootes and not his son William Rootes (later Lord Rootes) who, along with his brothrer Reginald, founded the Rootes Group of Companies

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