Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Stafford Show in rude health - but is Moto Guzzi dead?

Everyone raves about the Stafford show and now I understand why; my lips are cracked from talking too much, and my feet still ache from standing around all day. Busy doesn't begin to cover it - I saw the stand and the way to the toilets, and hardly anything else. Thank you to everyone who dropped by - and if you missed me I'll move heaven and earth to be at the Ace Cafe's Italian Day this Sunday 2 May.

But our Italian visitors brought sad news from the shores of Lake Como - Piaggio have shut the Moto Guzzi factory at Mandello del Lario, and started to empty the museum. The good news is the museum's back up and running, and Piaggio say the factory's only shut for refurbishment.

The good news stops there. Our Italian friends say this is just a smokescreen to move Guzzi production from the factory they've been built at since the firm was established in 1920, and wriggle out of paying redundancy cash.

This is our heritage. Paintings, sculpture, buildings - they all get instant kudos and often legal protection to save them for future generations. When the petrol runs out the first century of mass transport will finally be appreciated. The green lobby may point at magnificent follies like the Guzzi V8 (pictured in the Guzzi museum) but this was built with the cash from thousands of Guzzilinos and such that gave us ordinary folk the freedom to venture beyond our own villages. And when future historians try to understand this, in the same way previous eras are researched by examining old buildings and artefacts, what will we say?

Oh, we got rid of it all. Couldn't screw enough money out of it.


  1. How reliable is this source? There are lots of conspiracy theorists out there and plenty who like to deal in doom and gloom. It might just be that the factory really is being refitted. I'm not being naive, just sceptical. I've seen no convincing evidence that the factory is being shut.

  2. I think you'll find that Moto Guzzi was established in 1921, not 1920...