Friday, June 12, 2009

A bullet in 1908!

The Royal Enfield Bullet name in a motorcycle was first used in 1931. Could there be an even earlier use? As usual with Royal Enfield, the story is rich and interesting! According to Wikipedia, "The oddly-named Alldays & Onions was an English automobile maker, it manufactured cars from 1898 to 1918". It originated in the merger of two companies with roots going back to 1650, some claiming it was the oldest engineering company in the world at that time. In 1907 a partnership (some say a merger) took place with the Enfield motor company, and the Enfield-Allday cars started production, which ran till 1925. At the time Royal Enfield was manufacturing cars and bicycles, but not motorcycles. They built a motorcycle in 1901 but then stopped production for a few years. The car portion of the company is the one that merged with Alldays and moved from Hunt End to Birmingham. There was quite a bit of badge-engineering, some vehicles being listed as Enfield-Allday, some as Enfield or Allday only. They also produced trucks. Check this model, the "Torpedo Phaeton"! Their factory was in Fallows Road, Sparkbrook, Birmingham. Fallows Road is a short street. Currently there are residential houses and one factory. Could this be a remnant of the Enfield Autocar factory? To top everything off, according to this site the first model they produced was called "The Bullet"! After World War II, with changing market requirements, Alldays & Onions Ltd establish itself as a market leader in the manufacture of centrifugal fans expanding into the field of dust collecting and chemical engineering. In 1969 the company merged with rival fan company J.C.Peacock forming Alldays Peacock & Co Ltd and in the 1980s the company expanded its factory in Weston-Super-Mare in Somerset and began selling abroad. In 2005 Alldays Peacock was purchased by the world’s leading fan-maker, the German-based Witt Group and became part of Witt UK; manufacturing moved to Halifax, West Yorkshire. It is remarkable to see that this manufacturing company has survived, with various mergers and changes, for around 360 years.

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