1937 Raleigh lady’s roadster

The ‘Raleigh Cycle Co.’ trade mark was registered on 29 December 1888. Formerly Woodhead, Angois & Ellis, the Raleigh Cycle Co. Ltd was registered on 19 January 1889 with authorised capital of £20,000, half of which was provided by Frank Bowden. Richard Woodhead was the director responsible for factory management while Paul Angois was appointed as product director. Initially its machines proved so popular that it admitted to being three to four months behind orders in 1889 until a new factory was added. A public offering of shares was made in 1891 and Bowden built the company into the largest manufacturer in the world by a series of take-overs. He had been awarded a baronetcy for his services in the Far East and part of his coat of arms was a heron’s head on a red cushion. The heron’s head was eventually incorporated in the Raleigh head badge.

Raleigh pioneered a number of production initiatives which set it up to be the dominant British cycle producer of the 20th Century.

The Collection’s exhibit

This 1937 Raleigh lady’s roadster is a commendable survivor that will continue to ensure stately progress. The roadster bicycle is often overlooked but the relatively long wheelbase ensured a comfortable ride and this is borne out today by the common use of such machines in The Netherlands.
This is typical of the sort of machine used by a lady at Bletchley Park.

vcc_supported This machine is supported by the Veteran-Cycle Club

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