With the passing of time and the inevitable turnover of people involved in the Triumph scene I feel it is worthwhile documenting the development of the present organisation. To this end I have prepared this brief resume of our history.
The history of the club starts in 1954 when the Triumph Sports Owners Association (TSOA) was inaugurated by the then Standard Triumph International Company for the growing number of American owners of the successful TR sports car range. The Standard Triumph Automobile Association (STAA) was also formed at this time for owners of other Standard and Triumph cars and this provided the basis for the future structure. Throughout the 1950's and 1960's various local branches were set up throughout the U.K. these being run on an autonomous basis, having their own membership fee and volunteer committee, although acting under the umbrella of the factory "Head Office" STAA and receiving support from the same. Inter-branch communication was carried out centrally by the factory publicity department and took the form of a section in the company magazine "The Standard-Triumph Review". What is now Club Triumph was formed as the STAA North London Branch in 1961.
In the mid-1960's the name "Standard" was dropped from the title which became simply the Triumph Automobile Association (TAA).
In 1977 with the reorganisation of the British Leyland Company, direct involvement between the club's and the Triumph factory came to an end. British Leyland again changed the name of the club and Club Triumph Limited was formed as an autonomous organisation to replace the former TAA "Head Office". For accuracy it should be noted that the title 'Club Triumph' had been used for a number of years by some of the branches. TAA North London changing title in 1973. The remaining local branches of the TAA changed their name to Club Triumph to match the new image.
The role of Club Triumph Limited was, however, two fold as BL management expressed their desire that all Triumph car club approaches to the company should be made through Club Triumph limited. The new organisation therefore had two roles:
The factory continued to provide support for Club Triumph Limited until the early 1980's, when this was stopped in one of the factory economy drives of the period, which coincided with the untimely death of CT Ltd, General Secretary, Bob Train. Sadly, without the factory support it was not possible to run CT Ltd on a voluntary basis. In 1988 a shareholders' meeting voted to discontinue the "Club" side of the organisation in favour of an "Association" of Triumph clubs. It was agreed to change the name to Standard and Triumph Association and in 1991 the Limited Company was dissolved, although the association continues to be run on a voluntary basis.
Since the dissolution of the Limited Company the old North London Branch, already the largest U.K. club catering for all Triumphs, began to receive membership applications from all over the country and following an abortive merger proposal from Club Triumph Eastern in 1994 decided to drop the North London Branch from the title to become simply "Club Triumph".
In this little piece I have tried to give some background on how the club has developed over the years. I also propose we are unique among car clubs in having five possible birthdays to celebrate:
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