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Past and Presence of an Iconic Bicycle Brand

Tony Hadland
Format: 8½ x 11 inch jacketed hardcover
Description: 368 pages with 650 illustrations
ISBN: 9781892495-68-6
Price: US$39.95

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Ten years in the making, Raleigh is a beautifully illustrated, thorough and up-to-date history of the world's best-known bicycle company, describing its ups and downs and the products it has made over the years.

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About the book

Founded in Nottingham, England, in 1887, the Raleigh name still appears on bicycles sold today around the world. In fact, there are now two distinct Raleigh companies, one in England, the other in the United States, each with its own product range tailored to their respective markets.

Author Tony Hadland, with the help of several contributors, has meticulously researched the development of the Raleigh brand through the 125 years of its existence.

Table of Contents

Introduction and Acknowledgments

Chapter 1. Beginnings, 1848–1888

Chapter 2. Early Expansion, 1888–1895

Chapter 3. North America, 1891–1898

Chapter 4. The Fairbanks Fiasco, 1893–1899

Chapter 5. The 1896 Company, 1895–1899

Chapter 6. The 1899 Company, 1899–1908

Chapter 7. Edwardian Bicycles, 1901–1910

Chapter 8. Coming of Age, 1908–1914

Chapter 9. World War I—and Another Company, 1914–1918

Chapter 10. Post-war Challenges, 1918–1921

Chapter 11. Management and Workforce, 1920–1945

Chapter 12. Buildings and Plant, 1920–1945

Chapter 13. Distribution and Sales, 1920–1945

Chapter 14. Bicycles, 1919–1945

Chapter 15. Raleigh in Ireland, 1933–1945

Chapter 16. Munitions Work, 1936–1945

Chapter 17. Management and Workforce, 1945–1959

Chapter 18. Buildings and Plant, 1945–1959

Chapter 19. Acquisitions and Mergers, 1945–1960

Chapter 20. Overseas Sales and Production, 1933–1959

Chapter 21. Marketing, 1945–1959

Chapter 22. Bicycles, 1945–1959

Chapter 23. Lightweight Cycles, 1945–1959

Chapter 24. The Reg Harris Years, 1948–1957

Chapter 25. Post-Boom Slump, 1956–1959

Chapter 26. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, 1960

Chapter 27. Merger, Management, and Workforce, 1960–1987

Chapter 28. Production Facilities, 1960–1987

Chapter 29. Quality, Design, Testing, and R&D, 1960–1987

Chapter 30. Marketing, Sales, and Financial Performance, 1960–1987

Chapter 31. Raleigh Overseas, 1960–1987

Chapter 32. Mainstream Cycles and Toys, 1960–1987

Chapter 33. Small Wheels, 1959–1987

Chapter 34. High-Rise Bikes, 1963–1982

Chapter 35. BMX and MTB, 1961–1987

Chapter 36. Lightweights and Racers, 1960–1987

Chapter 37. Racing Results, 1960–1987

Chapter 38. Specialist Bicycle Development Unit, Ilkeston

Chapter 39. Management and Finance, 1987–2010

Chapter 40. Production Facilities, 1987–2002

Chapter 41. Marketing, 1987–2010

Chapter 42. Bicycles, 1987–2010

Chapter 43. Raleigh in America, 1960–2011

Chapter 44. Raleigh Motorized

Chapter 45. Sturmey-Archer’s Bicycle Products

Chapter 46. The Art and Image of Raleigh, 1886–2011

I. Raleigh Frame Numbers
II. The Heron Head Badge
III. Sir Walter Raleigh
IV. Raleigh Racing Successes
V. Spelling, Units, and Money
VI. Illustration Sources

Sources and Select Bibliography

Index of Names

What the Critics Say

This is an enormous work, encompassing 368 pages, covering the entire history of the iconic British bicycle brand in no fewer than 46 chapters, from the birth of (company founder) Frank Bowden in 1848 to 2011.

In many ways, this is the story of our island race writ (very) large--its growth to imperial glory and sad retreat as bigger and clumsier players strode onto the world stage. At some time or another in the century of manufacturing from 1880 to 1980, Raleigh had a toe-hold just about everywhere.

Like the big British car and motorcycle manufacturers, Raleigh seems to have developed a rather complacent attitude after so many decades at the top of its game, and when younger, sharper operators arrived, it just crumbled. According to Marvin Cresswell, who worked for Raleigh's marketing department for thirty years, the declining years proved to be a frustrating period: 'The marketers, who had done so much to establish the brand image of Raleigh, were succeeded in the 1960s and 1970s by complacency, lack of imagination and in many cases, ineptitude.'

The 46 chapters in this huge work are mostly laid out chronologically, thank goodness, but there are a few fascinating asides, such as motorised bicycles, and the last chapter, The Art and Image of Raleigh. This covers the history of Raleigh advertising, which reads as something of a metaphor for the rise and fall for Raleigh itself.

Raleigh is a fascinating work by a master on the subject.

A to B Magazine, England, No. 87, December 2011

From the contents




About the author

Tony Hadland is a retired land-surveyor with a degree in architecture. He has had a lifelong interest in bicycles and bicycle history. His earlier books include The Sturmey-Archer Story, The Moulton Storey, and The Spaceframe Moultons, and, together with the late John Pinkerton, It's In the Bag.

Contributing author Scotford Lawrence is a retired executive with a doctorate degree in Art History, and has a special interest in the imagery of the bicycle. His contribution is a heavily chapter devoted to "the Art and Image of Raleigh"