Saturday, 31 December 2011

Richfield Avenue, Reading

It was obvious that Porsche Cars Great Britain could not go on working out of ad-hoc premises at London road, Harpers Yard and Worton Hall scattered around Isleworth in West London and that the company needed a purpose built and self-contained headquarters. Once Porsche KG had bought into the Company, the funding was available for John and Peter to put plans together to build a new purpose built facility for Porsche Cars Great Britain. 
One of the first of many sites that they seriously looked at was Port Richborough in Kent. These plans became quite advanced, so much so that Dr Ferry Porsche and Heinz Branitski the Finance Director of Porsche AG, had met John and Peter to view Port Richborough first hand, flying into the nearby Manston airport in the Porsche corporate Cessna Citation jet. 
At this time I had already bumped into Peter several times who was pursuing his flying lessons at White Waltham airfield near Maidenhead, where I was learning to fly. I think the idea was that with Manston airport nearby, John and Peter could commute by light aircraft from the respective homes in Oxfordshire and Hampshire. 
However this plan, like many others, including Castle Coombe, never materialised as they decided to go for a site in Richfield Avenue, Reading. 
Richfield Avenue, was found, conceived and built inside one year from 1976 through 1977 and when the first new Porsche 924 models arrived, they went straight to Richfield Avenue, not Harper’s Yard. There were many executives in Porsche KG that said it was not possible to design, build a new purpose built facility in this time frame, but John and Peter managed it against all the odds and were to be congratulated by all.

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