Saturday, July 9, 2011

Where it all began

On my way to a conference in Edinburgh, I decided to stop once more in Redditch to collect material for the blog. I'm staying at a hotel on Hewell Road, the street where Royal Enfield factory #1 was located, about three blocks away from here. I took a walk to see if things had changed from my visit in 2009. Everything was mostly the same. The iconic building that says "Royal Enfield" on the roof is still apparently for sale or lease. I think Enfield India should consider buying it and preserving it. Otherwise someone is going to buy it and repair the roof and the magic will be gone. If you are interested, here is a picture of the announcement including the prices. Unfortunately  I don't know which of the three buildings for sale is the one with the words on the roof. Or even if it is for sale for sure, it currently seems to house an office associated with the realtors.
Something else I did was wander deep inside the Enfield Industrial estate, to the part where the test track of the old factory used to be. "The Motor Cycle" claimed in 1910 that the test track was the only one that was owned by a motor company in the UK, another Enfield first. Alas, I could not find any remnants. From pictures I've seen I'm not even sure it was paved and now the area is totally paved with streets and entrances to industrial buildings.

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