If you are a visitor to this website, you are most likely
interested in historical firearms. Some of the greatest legends
of firearms production have emerged from the shops of Birmingham Small
Arms, which was located to the Northwest of London, in Birmingham's
famous "Gun Quarter". Some of the work in these shops was farmed
out from the government-run armory of the RSAF (Royal Small Arms
Factory) at Enfield, a suburb of London. These include mainstays
such as the snider-Enfield, the Martini-Henry, the Lee-Metford, the
legendary Lee-Enfield, the .303 RAF Browning, the Sten submachine gun
and the modern LRL1A. They also produced some heavier armaments
such as cannon and anti-tank rifles.
Besides those legendary firearms, there were some other rather thrilling products that any gun or history enthusiast can also easily appreciate. Birmingham Small Arms, also known as BSA also produced a very popular line of bicycles, cars and motorcycles. At one point, BSA was the worlds largest and most popular motorcycle manufacturer.
Like any old and venerated company, Birmingham Small Arms
went through a large number of shifts and changes, and dealings with
other very well-known companies like Daimler, Norton, Triumph, Raleigh,
and others. There were financial problems and successes along the
way. For awhile, the Royal Post Office used the BSA's Bantam
motorcycles to deliver telegrams. They were also used by the
Automobile Association for roadside services.
In 1930, BSA purchased the car manufacturer, Lanchester Motor
Company Ltd. in Sparkbrook, Birmingham. Lanchester operated from
1895 to 1955. The Lanchester company had once been a part of
BSA's Armourers Mills small arms production facility. The BSA
line of cars, some still wearing the badge of Lanchester later changed
hands to Daimler, Jaguar, and most recently, Jaguar/rover which
as of 2008 was owned by the Ford Motor Company.
BSA Motorcycles Ltd was in business from 1919 to 1972. During that time, they produced some fine examples of what is now motorcycle history. For a very short time in 1979, there were a few BSA motorcycles produced by BSA Regal.
As can be easily expected, these wheeled gems of the 20th century continue to gleam in flawless glory in the hands of private collectors around the world. While the BSA name has changed hands and undergone numerous changes, the name still endures. 2011 is the 150th anniversary of the BSA brand. Today, only air and spring sporting guns are made in Birmingham at BSA Guns UK. BSA bicycles are still made and sold by TI Cycles of India. But the base of the marque's history still shines as brightly as the chrome on the products of its past glory.