DENSEL DAVY, from St. Mary, Castleton, Jamaica arrived in Nottingham in 1965. He began an apprenticeship at Raleigh in 1969, gradually progressing to the status of Deputy Chief Electrical Engineer before leaving in 1983.
“I did a four-year training programme involving six-week blocks at college and six weeks at work. When I finished my apprenticeship I served as a Maintenance Electrician for a couple of years and then worked in the offices as an Estimating Engineer and from there became an Electrical Design Engineer eventually progressing to Deputy Chief Electrical Engineer.”Densel Davy
Published by When We Worked at Raleigh
The history of Black people working at Raleigh Industries in Nottingham is one which demonstrates the power of community activism. Raleigh, established in 1887, is one of the world's oldest and best-known bike brands. At its peak Raleigh produced 100,000 cycles, 250,000 hub gears, 15,000 motorcycles and 50,000 motorcycle gearboxes annually and despite the rising popularity of the car during the 1920s Raleigh become a world leader in bicycles, marketing its product to the Caribbean, Africa, and elsewhere.
Over time Raleigh would become one of the largest employers of Black people in Nottingham however this privilege would be one that the Black community would need to mobilise for politically. Oswald George Powe was one individual who challenged systemic racism in relation to employment.
Powe was a World War II radar operator and lifelong community activist, having founded a number of Black political organisations in the city. He arrived in the UK during the late 1940s and had a significant presence in Nottingham prior to taking up residence in the 1970s. While he advocated for Black people to work at Raleigh he never worked at Raleigh himself.
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