SOPHISTICATED and stylish, the Paramount was one if the iconic car designs of the 1950s.
Although not many people know that Swadlincote was the home of this very special motor car, Gail Archer, manager of Swadlincote Tourist Information Centre does.
“The Paramount was manufactured in the town in the 1950s,” said Gail.
“It looked sophisticated and stylish with an aluminium body over a wooden frame and its grille made it look like a BMW.
“When the Smith and Jones company created a pub in Swadlincote they held a competition to find a suitable name. A local resident suggested The Paramount in honour of the car which brought back grand visions from a bygone era.
“The Paramount car showroom was situated in Swadlincote’s High Street and it’s interesting that of the 100 models manufactured, only two survive today.”
Although there won’t be a Paramount on display, other motors, including a cavalcade of cars and motorbikes, will be celebrated at the first Swadlincote Festival of Transport which will take place on Sunday, May 19 from 9am until 4pm.
Said Gail: “The fabulous display of automobiles will be on The Delph, up the High Street and will run along West Street, beyond the Paramount pub, with classic motorbikes and scooters in Market Street.”
“Whatever the weather, the Swadlincote Festival of Transport will be going ahead as the vehicles will be parked on the lovely new hardstanding on The Delph.
“The idea for a Festival of Transport is the brainchild of Box Motor Club, a motor enthusiast club based in Woodville, with members from across South Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire and the Rotary Club of Swadlincote which is part of Rotary International, the world’s largest service organisation for business and professional people.
“All the proceeds of the first Festival of Transport will be donated to the YMCA which is the largest and oldest youth charity in the world.
“The YMCA helps young people to build a future by providing safe places to stay, supporting families and helping young people to get active.
“The Festival of Transport will be a fun day for all the family, not only featuring classic cars, modified cars, motorcycles and trikes, scooters and commercial vehicles, there will also be buses and a fire engine on display.
“Visitors will be able vote for their favourite vehicle in each category — the public will be the judge of who wins the prizes for the best vehicles.
“At the initial launch for the festival, we had an E-Type Jag, classic and classy Triumphs, an MGB and a designer Mini-Cooper.
“The festival is not just for car enthusiasts, other entertainment will be taking place including a bouncy castle, face painting, music, a raffle - even a Dalek will be joining us for the day.
“To commemorate all those crazy competitions when loads of people used to cram into early Minis so that they could be in the Guinness Book of Records, there will be a ‘Guess how many balloons in the Mini’ challenge.
“Refreshments will be available in Swadlincote Town Hall from 10am until 2pm, as well as ice creams, a hog roast and jacket potatoes.”
The event is supported by South Derbyshire District Council as part of the action plan for Swadlincote Town Centre which aims to attract visitors to the town centre and continue its revival.
Said Gail: “In recent years millions of pounds have been invested in the refurbishment of Swadlincote town square and other public areas such as the construction of The Pipeworks retail and leisure development, and the extension of Sharpe’s Pottery Museum.”
To find out more about the first-ever Swadlincote Festival of Transport, log on to the Swadlincote Transport Festival Facebook page or call Swadlincote Tourist Information Centre on 01283 222848.
If you want to bring your own vehicle to the festival telephone 07584 095601 or 07878 836462.