• The Decline of the British Motorcycle Industry, Part 3: The Triumph Workers’ Cooperative

  • Triumph Bonneville T140V Produced by the Workers' Cooperative between 1975 and 1983: the last stand of the original British Motorcycle Industry

Rising from the Ashes of the original company, it was a brave attempt to save the brand by the workers

By the early 1970’s the writing was on the wall for the British Motorcycle Industry. Just three names remained: Triumph, BSA and Norton and they were all owned by the same umbrella company. It was a large and unwieldy conglomerate, with too many factories. When Meriden, the traditional home of Triumph, was threatened with closure and all production moved to the BSA factory at Small Heath, the Triumph workers held a two-year sit-in, before forming a cooperative to continue production of the Bonneville.

The Triumph Workers’ Cooperative

The Decline of the British Motorcycle Industry, Part 3: The Triumph Workers' Cooperative
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Triumph Bonneville T140V
Produced by the Workers’ Cooperative between 1975 and 1983: the last stand of the original British Motorcycle Industry

It’s not the best quality recording, but the following documentary on the workers’ cooperative that kept the Triumph name afloat from the mid-1970s through to 1983 is a fascinating glimpse into the dying embers of the British motorcycle industry, before it was resurrected, phoenix-like, by John Bloor, who bought the rights to the Triumph name from the receiver after the collapse of the cooperative.

Harry Fisher
Harry Fisher
Motorcycling Contributor
Born and raised in England, he has lived in South Africa with his family since 2002. Harry has owned examples of Triumph, Norton, BSA, MV Agusta, Honda, BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Kawasaki and Moto Morini motorcycles. He regrets selling all of them.  Read full bio
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