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Friday, July 7, 2017

Royal Enfield factory in Redditch partly demolished

In 2013 author Gordon May displays aerial photo of Royal Enfield's Redditch factory.
Words "Royal Enfield" were dimly visible on roof behind photographer at left.
In 2013 I was privileged to take a brief walking tour of the former main Royal Enfield factory location in Redditch, England.

It was led by author, historian and Royal Enfield enthusiast Gordon May.

Redditch was headquarters of Royal Enfield for most of its existence in Britain. Gordon conducted our group past the  remains of the once immense works, pointing out the words "Royal Enfield" still visible on the roof of one building.

It was stirring to be where so much Royal Enfield history was written.

Although made in India, my own Royal Enfield Bullet enriches my life and there was a sense that somewhere in this cluster of red brick structures its ancestors were first bolted together.

In 2013 a round plaque placed by Royal Enfield Owners Club marked factory wall.
Progress is the enemy of old buildings. Sure enough, blogger Jorge Pullin reports that some of the buildings have fallen to new development. Photos and an account of his recent visit to the Redditch factory are on his blog, My Royal Enfields.

Former Redditch factory repair shops are seen in Google street view.
REOC marker is visible at right. These buildings are now gone.
The "Royal Enfield" sign on the roof is gone and the factory building that once displayed a plaque from the Royal Enfield Owners Club has been demolished.

Luckily, Jorge has an excellent collection of articles on his blog compiling his research into the various Royal Enfield factories.

It is only a shame that he has had to write a new chapter describing the demolition.

Google aerial view shows vacant lot where part of factory formerly stood.
"Royal Enfield" was still faintly visible on roof at bottom center in this 2017 aerial.

2 comments:

  1. Reminds me of the remnants of Norton's Wolverhampton factory. Years after it closed, there were still test books and drawings just left in the abandoned buildings that have long since been cleaned out and flattened. In that regard I'm very glad Hitchcock's saved the largess of RE's works files that some day can be made into a comprehensive history people can enjoy long after the rest of the Redditch Works are flattened as well.

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    Replies
    1. Thank goodness! By the way, a friend recalls sneaking into the closed up Studebaker factory in South Bend, Ind. as a kid and seeing car parts still hanging on the assembly line. The company had just walked away! What might have been saved?

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