Sunday, March 29, 2009

Where in Hunt End

Royal Enfield has deep roots historically. They go back to George Townsend, who set up a needle making factory in 1851 in Hunt End, near Redditch. His son established a bicycle manufacturing company that was taken over by Albert Edie and R.W. Smith. They re-christened the firm as 'The Edie Manufacturing Company Limited'. Soon after, Albert Edie started supplying precision rifle parts to the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield Middlesex. To celebrate the contract they decided to call the first new design of bicycle, the 'Enfield'. A new company was created to market these new design bicycles called 'The Enfield Manufacturing Company Limited'. In 1893, the word Royal (after the Royal Small Arms Company) was added and thus Royal Enfield came into being. This first factory was in Hunt End and predates the more modern Redditch factory on Hewell Road that we discussed in previous posts. Here is a picture of the factory from the 1920s. I couldn't find any info on where exactly the factory was located. But flying over to Hunt End using Microsoft Live Search reveals this industrial estate, suspiciously on a road called Enfield and facing a row of old houses just like that in the 1920's photo. The industrial complex is obviously a new one, but could it be occupying the land where the early Royal Enfield factory that manufactured bicycles and motorcycles was?

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