Raleigh workers to relive memories at public event

02 Mar 2012 13:36:09.970


Former Raleigh workers who helped build the company’s world famous bikes in Nottingham are revisiting the site of their old factory to share stories about how it used to be.

The special event is part of a series celebrating 125 years of Raleigh in Nottingham and takes place next week at The University of Nottingham’s Jubilee campus which replaced the old Raleigh buildings when the factory shut down.

The public talk by a group of Raleigh employees who worked at the factory from the 1950s onwards is part of a series of events celebrating the Raleigh site in Nottingham as a home of industry, innovation and heritage. It takes place at 6pm on Tuesday 6 March in the Exchange building on the University’s Jubilee campus off Wollaton Road in Nottingham.

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‘Doing a bit of javo’

Members of the Retired Raleigh Workers Association will explain how a bicycle was made, what the different jobs entailed and what Raleigh means to them in their lives. From the Press Shop to Finishing, via Pedal and Bar and the Lining Department, the public will hear tales of ‘brazing’, ‘dancing’, ’chargehands’, Choppers and 'doing a bit of javo'.

Ex-Raleigh employee Kathy Flewitt who now works for the University on the same site, said:

“I started work at Raleigh at the age of 16 as a typist in a small office on Faraday Road, working my way up to a Shorthand Typist, I was there for 8 years. I am looking forward to joining the other ex- Raleigh employees in the chaired talks on the 6th March. I feel my life has come full circle working back in the same place I started from, over 40 years ago, and feel really lucky to have been employed by two excellent Nottingham employers.”

Triumph of innovation

Nothing of the Raleigh factory remains but the University looks to the Jubilee Campus as a centre of innovation and excellence. Triumph Road – the site of Factory No.2 – is currently being developed, with state of the art university buildings being constructed where once stood the most modern bicycle factory in the world.

Local community theatre group Hanby and Barrett is currently developing a performance involving members of the public, many of them former Raleigh employees, looking at the 125 year history of the company and the experiences of the thousands of Nottingham men and women who worked there. The performance will tour venues across the city in May and June.  

The Raleigh Bike Project will culminate in a community open day at the University’s Jubilee Campus on Saturday June 16 featuring a range of fun, family activities including races, displays and an exhibition of Raleigh-related artefacts.

More details on the Raleigh Bike Project are at www.nottingham.ac.uk/raleigh

Booking for the event on Tuesday 6 March is recommended, please email

uonsoe@nottingham.ac.uk or telephone: 0115 951 4543.



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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has 40,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘the world’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking 2011.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news

Story credits

More information is available from Sally Bowden, on +44 (0)115 951 4593  sally.bowden@nottingham.ac.uk

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