The legendary Royal Enfield – the oldest motorcycle brand in the world still in production - has revved its way back to its birthplace after 56 years away.
 

The motorcycle brand has opened a pop-up exhibition inside the Kingfisher Shopping Centre, in the centre of Redditch town centre, which is home to 150 stores and eateries. The Centre stands tall as soon as you step foot out of Redditch train station and is a convenient two-minute walk from there.
 
The Royal Enfield exhibition is free and open until 8 July. The direct train from Birmingham New Street was operated by West Midlands Trains and took just under 40 minutes – making Redditch easy to get to from a range of destinations.

The six-week-long exhibition was opened by Cllr Roger Bennett, Mayor of Redditch and was followed by a presentation by Gordon May, Royal Enfield Historian and Simon Warburton, Head of Product Development at Royal Enfield. 

Both speakers talked about the crucial contribution by Royal Enfield to the local economy and the everlasting mark it left on the town.

The first Royal Enfield motorcycle was built in 1901 bringing jobs and economic growth to the town. It was part of both war efforts during World War I and II – manufacturing machines for the British Army. 

The exhibition showcases a number of these early machines and whether you’re a motorcycle enthusiast or not, you will be in awe of the engineering brilliance on display.
 
In 1932, the legendary Bullet motorcycle is born. The Bullet won its reputation for being a rugged, powerful and reliable machine from its success on the trials tracks, winning tons of gold medals in the process. 

Some 20 years later the Bullet’s reputation caught the eye of the Indian Army, which made a significant order on the motorcycles. The Redditch company eventually partnered with Madras Motors in 1955, which still makes the bikes to this day.

Royal Enfield’s legacy can be seen as soon as you step foot outside the station – in a mural depicting a number of cultural references to the town of Redditch.


Dominating the left side of the painting is a Royal Enfield Bullet – easily recognisable by its unique shape that hasn’t changed since it was rolled out from the Redditch factories in 1931.


However, the town isn’t just famous for its bikes, it was once the international centre for the needle and fishing tackle industry – during the 19th century, 90% of the world’s needles were made in Redditch. In fact, Royal Enfield’s history started in 1851 when George Townsend set up a business making sewing needles; eventually after a few decades of ownership changes and deals being made, Royal Enfield was born.

The company was a crucial driver of the local economy which has a unique connection with the legendary bike. One local commenting on the on the newly-opened Royal Enfield pop-up said: “I’m not much into bikes, but I did work at the Enfield spraying them back in the day”.

I finished my trip off in one of the Kingfisher Shopping Centre’s many eateries. Delightful Desserts served up a scrumptious coffee and cake offer. If sweets aren’t your thing, the centre offers an extensive range of other eateries.

To book your train tickets, click here and to find out more about the exhibition click here.

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Royal Enfield Showcase
Exhibition
Royal Enfield Showcase

After 52 years, Royal Enfield are returning to Redditch! The borough has been chosen for the exclusive European unveiling of a new model to Royal Enfield's brand new trials Bullet.

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