Raleigh Workers E – O

Howard Edwards

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…

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Lloyd Ferron

LLOYD FERRON, born in St Catherine, Jamaica arrived in Nottingham at the age of 14 in 1957. His first job after leaving school was working at Raleigh. He worked in the fender shop, putting fenders on Choppers and other bikes as they moved down the conveyor belt. “It was my first job when I finished…

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Rosalind Jordan

ROSALIND JORDAN, from St Kitts, arrived in Nottingham at the age of nine in 1961. She initially found employment at Boots and then went onto Raleigh in 1972. She remembers the solidarity amongst Black women from different parts of the Caribbean who worked on the assembly line at Sturmey-Archer as they assembled the gears for…

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Phyllis Mighten

PHYLLIS MIGHTEN, born in St James Jamaica, arrived in England on October 15, 1961. During her ten years of employment at Raleigh she worked first in the tyre fitting department, known as the ‘wheel shop’, and then Sturmey-Archer’s export and import department.  Sturmey-Archer was a subsidiary of the Raleigh company, primarily producing bicycle hub gears,…

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Govern Murray

GOVERN MURRAY began working at Raleigh in 1968. He had just turned sixteen and newly arrived from Jamaica. He spent the next 37 years working until he was made redundant. By the time he had completed his time at Raleigh he was able to make a bicycle from start to finish.  “I did so many different…

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Fay Osbourne

FAY OSBOURNE was an experienced typist when she joined Raleigh in the 1970s in the export department, which exported significant numbers of mountain bikes to Africa. She was one of three Black women that worked in the typing pool. While she may have been highly visible at work, her position as a typist in the…

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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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