FORMER employees of the Royal Enfield factory at Bradford on Avon gathered last weekend for a special film to commemorate their work.

The reunion took place at the Westwood Social Club to celebrate the building of Royal Enfield motorcycles in the area after the war ended.

During the Second World War, the Westwood Quarry Mine now owned by Hanson, housed a Royal Enfield factory evacuated from Redditch in the Midlands.

From June 1941, the workforce made Type 3 predictor sights for anti-aircraft guns as well as control equipment for Bofors guns.

When the war ended in 1945, Royal Enfield used the workers’ engineering expertise to assemble motorcycles, particularly the Interceptor.

Maurice Mumford, 84, of Charlcombe Lane in Bath, said: “The factory was unique in being located in the underground stone quarry or mine. At its peak, it employed more than 600 people.

“After the war, the factory at Westwood made parts for the Royal Enfield motorcycles until the company’s Redditch factory closed in 1967.

“I really enjoyed the time I spent there. It was like working for one big happy family.”

From 1967 to 1970, when the factory closed, the Royal Enfield Interceptors were assembled at Westwood and at Bobbin Lane from frames and parts made in the Midlands.

Derrick Elkins, 76, of Culver Road, Bradford on Avon, joined the firm as an apprentice during the late 1960s and worked for them until 1970.

“It was brilliant. I used to love it,” he said. “Eventually, I got to test drive the Interceptor. It was a really comfy ride.”

After many years of collaboration, Royal Enfield was eventually taken over in 1994 by an Indian company.

Manufacture was moved to Chennai in the Bay of Bengal, where Royal Enfield now produces more than 70,000 bikes a year, including the new 650cc Interceptor.

Aanoor Pandey, of Eicher Motors Ltd, which owns Royal Enfield, said the reunion film was “filling a gap” in the company’s corporate history.

“We are talking to the men and finding out what it was like to work for Royal Enfield at Westwood. The film will be used for our corporate archive.”

The new Royal Enfield twin cylinder Interceptor 650cc will be on display at the 38th Carole Nash Bristol Classic Motorcycle Show next month.

The show takes place at the Royal Bath & West Showground at Shepton Mallet on Saturday and Sunday, February 3 and 4.