Raleigh has today posted a 17 minute, 1945 produced documentary by the British Council showing ‘how a bicycle is made’.
Filmed at the firm’s Lenton Boulevard, Nottingham factories, resident historian (HR Manager Frank Ellis) tells us that the bike featured in the film was a “Low Gravity Carrier” (a Butcher’s Bike to you and I).
Ellis said: “The guy putting ball bearings in the bottom bracket took me back….he had that authentic piecework dance…people used to say that if you worked at Raleigh long enough you started doing the dance in your sleep!”
Frank, who carried out time and motion studies when he joined Raleigh as an apprentice in the 70s, said: “The hub lacing shot towards the end was great to see. It used to be done by hand by women and the first frames capture the classic fanned spokes that the women acheived with a simple flick of the wrist…try that one and see if you can get them anywhere near as evenly spaced! I’m always telling people the top women pieceworkers were faster than the automatic hub lacer, but I might be exaggerating just a little.”