Papers of the Triumph Engineering Company Ltd

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Accounts analyses, 1946-1968; expenditure analysis ledgers, 1959-1968; profit and loss statements and balance sheets, 1940-1970; employee statistics, 1964-1968.

Administrative / Biographical History

This motorcycle manufacturer derives from the bicycle factors, S. Bettman & Company, formed in 1885. The company changed its name to Triumph Cycle Company in 1887 and began to manufacture its own bicycles in 1889. After the firm had diversified into motor car production, the motorcycle side of its business was acquired by J. Young Sangster in 1936 under the name Triumph Engineering Company Ltd. The business was sold to Birmingham Small Arms in 1951, which, in turn was sold to Manganese Bronze Holdings in 1973, and took on the name Norton Villiers Triumph. Controversy over NVTs proposed closure of its Triumph subsidiary led to a work-in and the emergence in 1975 of Synova Motors Ltd, trading as the Meridien Motorcycle Co-operative.

Many of the company records have been dispersed or destroyed. The company was formed in London but moved to Coventry in 1889. Its factory was destroyed in the bombing of 1940; the present factory, at Allesley, near Meriden, was opened in 1942.

Reference: Harry Louis & Bob Currie, The Story of Triumph Motorcycles (Cambridge, 1975, 2nd edition, 1978).


The Modern Records Centre uses a classification scheme. For further details of the scheme, see It is compatible with ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description (2000).

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access to these papers.

Acquisition Information

This collection was deposited in the Centre by the Norton Villiers Triumph liquidators in 1976.

Other Finding Aids

A copy of this collection-level description is available in paper format in the Centre's searchroom. A file level catalogue is also available in paper format in the Centre's searchroom, at the National Register of Archives in London and in Chadwyck-Healey's National Inventory of Documentary Sources.

An authority record exists for the Triumph Engineering Company Ltd (GB 152 AAR2217).

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this archive, apart from the requirements of copyright law.

Appraisal Information

This collection has been weeded for duplicates.


Further deposits are not expected.

Related Material

A small group of Siegfried Bettman's personal papers has been deposited in the Coventry City Record Office.