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Industrial Legend Honoured In City

A German-born industrialist who founded one of Britain's most famous motoring marques is to be commemorated in Coventry.

Siegfried Bettmann, founder of the Triumph Company, will have a plaque unveiled in his memory on the site of his motor factory in Cathedral Square, Priory Street in the city centre on Thursday, 13 April.

The works was blitzed in 1940, and the factory dispatch bays are now the site of Coventry Cathedralís Chapel of Industry.

It is the only case of a cathedral being built on a former factory.

The plaque will be unveiled by retired engineer Gordon Maycock, who was born in Coventry. He  is the author of a new study of Bettmann, which due out this summer.

Also present will be the Provost of Coventry, the Very Reverend John Petty, and a 1919 Triumph motorcycle, made at the Priory Street works.

Siegfried Bettmann, born into a Jewish family in Nuremburg, came to Coventry in 1889 and set up the Triumph Company as a cycle company. He later became mayor of the city and lived until 1951.

Peter Walters, spokesman for Coventry and Warwickshire Promotions, said:

"As the founder of the Triumph Company, Siegfried Bettmann made a tremendous contribution to Coventry. He also played a major role in the life of the city and was a significant benefactor too.

"At a time when relations between Britain and Germany are somewhat strained over Rover and BMW, this is one motoring partnership that we are very keen to celebrate."

The Siegfried Bettmann plaque is number eight in the list of Coventry Heritage Plaques.

Among those commemorated so far are the poet Philip Larkin, jet engine pioneer Frank Whittle, industrialist John Siddeley and children's writer Angela Brazil.
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