Wednesday, 10 June 2009


Iconic biker destination, the Ace Cafe, hosts its annual Triumph day on Sunday 14th June. As part of the festivities the Ace Cafe has joined forces with renowned West London Triumph dealership Jack Lilley, who this year celebrate their 50th anniversary.

A selection of models from the Triumph Factory, including the brand new Triumph Thunderbird, Jack Lilley’s own 50th Anniversary Bonneville ‘special’ and Paul Young’s British Supersport race replica bike, will be on display, along with a rumoured appearance from Young himself.

A “Best Triumph” competition will be held on the day, with prizes up for grabs courtesy of Triumph, Jack Lilley, and Flip Video, plus tickets to attend the Triumph Owner’s Club Bonneville 50th celebration event at the Heritage Motor Museum in August. An overall “Best Triumph” winner will be chosen and presented with a grand prize of Triumph clothing and/or accessories to the value of £250.

The winning bike will then be invited back to attend the grand final, for "Best Triumph Of The Year", to be held at the Ace Cafe's regular monthly Triumph Night, in October.

Coming soon! Save the Triumph Bonneville! – The inside story of the Meriden Workers’ Co-op by John Roasmond. Featuring foreword by The Right Honorable Tony Benn.


• A unique account of a workforce taking over the factory to save the world's most famous motorcycle, the Triumph Bonneville
• Written by the welder who became chairman of the workers' board of directors
• The most controversial chapter in the history of Triumph and the British motorcycle industry
• The most famous of Labour's/Tony Benn's workers' co-operatives
• John Rosamond was at Meriden under BSA, Triumph, NVT and the Triumph co-op until the bitter end
• An integral part of the decision-making process, John witnessed the final negotiations to save Triumph
• John was the public face of Meriden, often featured in the contemporary press
• This part of Triumph's story has never before been written firsthand
• Previously unpublished photographs from the personal collections of the Meriden workers
• 2009 coincides with the 50th anniversary of the legendary Bonneville


Written by the ex-chairman of the workers’ board of directors of the famous Meriden co-op, this is the real story of the last bastion of British motorcycle production following the collapse of the industry. It’s also the story of a workforce’s refusal to let the Triumph Bonneville die ...

John Rosamond was, like the British motorcycle industry, born in the West Midlands. After leaving school he learnt his trade as a skilled welder, and shortly thereafter was employed by the world-famous Triumph motorcycle factory at Meriden to work on its new oil-bearing frames. A socialist and union man, John was elected spokesman on behalf of his fellow welders.
Returning to welding frames after the Meriden sit-in, in 1977 John then became the second and last chairman of the Triumph workers' board of directors, seeing through the continuing development of the acclaimed Bonneville model until the factory's closure in 1983.
After Meriden, John was employed by the new Triumph firm in Hinckley, before returning to his original trade as a welder, assessing students in the craft until his retirement in 2003.

I put a few questions to John about the book when he visited Veloce Publishing. (see video below)

Also, look out for The Cafe Racer Phenomenon (coming soon).