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

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

During the Second World War, from June 1941, the Westwood Quarry Mine now owned by Hanson, housed a Royal Enfield relocated from Redditch in the Midlands.

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, which managed the factory, 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 engines for the Royal Enfield Interceptor 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 onwards, the Royal Enfield motorcycles, including the Constellation, were assembled at Westwood and at Bobbin Lane from frames and parts made in the Midlands.

After the Westwood factory closed in 1970, the bikes, including the Crusader, Meteor, Meteor Minor and Interceptor models, were assembled at the Greenland Mills in Bradford on Avon until that factory too was closed.

Derrick Elkins, 76, of Culver Road, Bradford on Avon, joined the firm as an apprentice during the late 1960s and worked for them until 1977.

“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 and manufacture was moved to Chennai in the Bay of Bengal.

Royal Enfield now produces more than 70,000 bikes a year in India, including 350cc and 535cc models and the new 650cc Interceptor.

Aanoor Pandey, of Eicher Motors Ltd, which owns Royal Enfield, said the reunion 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 and Bradford on Avon.

“The film will be used for our corporate archive. It is not intended for wide distribution.”

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

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