Through The Midlands

October 17th

We left Hereford in a damp mist on Tuesday morning, resuming our trip Northward and heading for Redditch. We passed many roadsigns conjuring up old British marques; Meriden (Triumph), Solihull (Landrover) and later Hinkley (Triumph again) but Redditch (Royal Enfield territory) was our target and our first stop for cuppa and a recharge was at The Royal Enfield pub, situated in an old art-deco cinema. Here Finn presented me with a fascinating hardback on the history of Royal Enfield and Gareth Firkin, the manager, showed us around the pub’s display bikes before kindly presenting us with an old tank  badge as a souvenir.

Suitably refreshed we headed down the road for the real attraction of the visit, the old Royal Enfield works. As this particular bike was exported to India from new, and repatriated into Cambridge a few years ago, where I bought it; this is the first time the bike has been back to this spot since it was built, 57 years ago! Now a small retail estate, none of the original factory remains but the spot is marked by a plaque, presented by the Royal Enfield Club and a huge sign of the old ‘Made Like A Gun’ Logo on the gable of one of the buildings.

With the Enfield Leaving Redditch once again, we headed up to the nearby National Motorcycle Museum for a look around. We spent a couple of hours perusing their bewildering variety of machines but struggled to charge our bike, as the charge points didn’t want to co-operate and we weren’t allowed to plug the bike in anywhere else….

Not to worry, though, we had plenty in the battery as we headed up to an hour’s charging in a handy Asda (the first time we’ve actually had to wait for the bike to charge up) and headed to our stop for the next two nights in Leicester with a pal. With a day spare in the schedule we’re spending today recording footage that is not directly related to the trip; pieces to camera and generic scenes that make up parts from before an after the trip in the finished film.

With the sun setting we’ll probably head out to get a few more nicely lit shots before retiring to a local hostelry.