HOWARD EDWARDS started his time at Raleigh as a machine operator and then moved on to become a welder. He worked at Raleigh for approximately three years.
“When I came to England my cousin gave me a Raleigh racer, it was a red one, really good. That bike meant so much to me because I met my wife on that bicycle. I was riding it and I saw her and then I pulled up and said, “Hi babe how you doing?” she said, “clear off!” I saw her another time and said, “Hey it’s nice to see you”. So, we got chatting and from there and we ended up married, we have three fantastic kids, and a 36-year marriage.Howard Edwards
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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