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Raleigh Street

Raleigh Street, Nottingham, Notts, NG7 4DH
Raleigh Street

About

Raleigh Street, Nottingham, was the site of a small workshop which in 1886 started producing diamond-frame safety bicycles at the rate of three a week. Frank Bowden, a successful lawyer and convert to cycling, bought the firm in 1887 and in December 1888 founded The Raleigh Cycle Company as a limited liability private company. It grew rapidly and within a few years was a large public company capitalised at £100,000 (equivalent to about £5m today).

In 1902, Sturmey-Archer gears were added to the product range. Six years later, Bowden bought back Raleigh, which was to remain in family hands for the next quarter century. By the early 1920s, Raleigh was a world leader, capable of producing annually 100,000 cycles, 250,000 hub gears 15,000 motorcycles and 50,000 motorcycle gearboxes.

Raleigh survived the Great Depression well. It acquired Humber cycles in 1932 and the following year started producing a three-wheeler car. In 1934 Raleigh reverted to public company status, as Raleigh Cycle Holdings Ltd, with a share issue of more than £2m (= about £65m today). By 1938, its production of bicycles had grown to nearly 500,000 units per annum and the company had stopped making motorcycles and cars.

During the Second World War (1939-45), Raleigh concentrated on munitions work. The name of its budget range, launched in 1938 as Gazelle, was changed to Robin Hood, and Raleigh acquired Rudge-Whitworth.
After the war, despite shortages of fuel and steel, Raleigh’s cycle production rose rapidly. By 1949, it had reached about 750,000, the majority of which was exported.

- Find out more about Raleigh

Map & Directions

Opening Times

Raleigh Street (1 Jan 2018 - 31 Dec 2018)

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