On arriving at Nuffield Place, we were met by Clive Selby who provided a fascinating insight into Lord Nuffield and his home. Despite his great wealth his home is far from the typical home that you would expect from a multi-millionaire and is relatively modest for such a wealthy man.
Clive told us that William Richard Morris, later Lord Nuffield was born in 1877 and rose from humble beginnings to become one of Britain’s leading industrialists and philanthropists. He established his own cycle business just nine months after leaving school at fourteen and quickly developed plans for a small, high quality car that could be mass-produced resulting in the first Morris Oxford appearing in 1913.
Clive went on to explain that the boom of the 1920’s made Morris a millionaire and he soon embarked on a programme of philanthropy that would see him give away over £30 million, much of it to hospitals and other medical causes. He also financed the establishment of Nuffield College in Oxford.
After Clive’s fascinating introduction we were able to wander through the unpretentious house and enjoy the wonderful original 1930’s atmosphere and admire the many artefacts on display in this petrol head’s paradise
Perhaps the most unusual feature was the cupboard in Lord Nuffield’s bedroom which on opening the doors instead of rows of suits and shirts are all the tools that you would ever need to mend a clock, repair a bicycle lamp or resole a battered pair of shoes. Undoubtedly his cure for insomnia!
Following the visit, we retired to the Red Lion Hotel in Henley on Thames for an excellent lunch together with much reminiscing and anecdotes over life in the Motor Industry.
Our thanks go to Tina Steele for organising such an excellent day.