Friday 14th September 1973
One of the gloomiest days in Triumph’s history, Norton-Villiers-Triumph (NVT) chairman Dennis Poore ordered a meeting with Meriden’s union stewards to inform them he was to close the Triumph plant. Dennis Poore told the union stewards that he was going to close Meriden and ship tooling to Small Heath in Birmingham, UK. At the same time he told them that he expected them to continue the production of the 1974 models which began in August. What happened next was one of the darkest times Triumph had ever seen… An immediate sit-in strike by the Meriden workforce and subsequent blockading of the gates for the next 18 months. The iron gates in front of the legendary factory were manned by strikers 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Nothing came in, nothing went out, no service parts, no new bikes. Owner’s needing spare parts-Ha! Dealer’s crying for new bikes-Ha! Worldwide each begged for help but, none would come. Too many Dealers were still reeling from the P39 (oil in frame) frame debacle and now they found themselves with nothing to sell so they quit selling Triumph all together.