Posts Tagged ‘ilkeston’

Essential item No.2. 1976 SBDU Team Raleigh Track.

August 3, 2011

3 years ago I saw an ad for a steel track frameset, my size, within my budget and looking good. So off I went to Bristol to pick it up. I arrived, checked the frame and agreed to make the transaction. It was a mid 70s silver enamelled Carlton, badged as a Marcarini, lovely it was, Fischer crown and everything. Yes please. But before I swapped my cash for the merchandise he offered to show me another frameset. “OK” I said. He then brought this out: A 1976 Team Raleigh track SB969 in ‘the’ colourway.

Dilemma. I’d always wanted one of these and this was again my size. It looked a bit tatty and the fork was rusted to within an inch of it’s life but then it’s not everyday someone presents you with one of these in your size. Even though the Raleigh was in much poorer condition to the Carlton he wanted more money for it. More than my budget. I got him to put wheels in both, stand them up side by side and I stared at them for a bit. The mental tussle went on for half an hour and then Bang! it finally happened. I saw the potential in that Red, yellow and black, I had chosen to burn the budget and I had bought the Raleigh.

Three years later and I still use it daily, rain or shine. It is scratched, battered and bruised but continuing to work like a beautifully oiled machine, hell it is a beautifully oiled machine! I love it and I can’t see it leaving my hands anytime soon. I’v had many bikes since this has been around but they’ve all gone to new homes, all except one.

I want to live in southern France one day and when I do I want this in the lounge.

Previous Raleigh posts.
The awesome Recollections of Ilkeston.
Classic lightweights on Raleigh SBDU.

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Lomo for iPhone. Raleigh travellin’.

July 5, 2011

Raleigh train.

June 6, 2011

Found this image chilling on my desktop… what an awesome shot!

Raliegh SB 951…

April 30, 2010

…On Ebay.

Buy it Now for only £875! If only.

Recollections of Ilkeston.

March 19, 2010

I remembered this, as I glanced at it on my desktop this morning so I thought, lengthy as it is, I should post it. So anyone interested in the ins and outs of working for Raleigh Ilkeston’s SBDU should read on.

Words by Mike Mullet.

30 years ago, but here goes.

In the closing years of my Army career (1969 to 1976) I managed and mechaniced for the Combined Service cycling teams which led me to doing the same tasks for the British Cycling Federation at National and International events. This led to an invite from the Raleigh UK team to mechanic for the team on a freelance basis. This I was very happy to do, particularly for such a famous team.
On leaving the service I started framebuilding under my own name but still freelancing for Raleigh and writing a technical column for the UK magazine “Cycling”. The editor at that time was Ken Evans, sadly deceased at an early age.

In 1978 I rang Gerald and asked to visit Ilkeston, the base for the UK team which was managed by George Shaw an ex Raleigh UK based pro. The upshot of the visit was Gerald asked if I would like to work at Ilkeston with a view to taking over from him when he retired.
Would I. Why me? Evidently my freelance work for the team and my weekly column in Cycling had paid off.
Gerald told me I would have to have a formal job interview with his boss, the Design Director of Raleigh – Alan Oakley. Raleigh Chopper fans will be aware of Alan, a revered figure having designed the Chopper on the back of an envelope on a fight to the USA. What a gentleman. The job interview took place one lunch time (and well into the afternoon) at one of the most elite dining establishments in Nottingham with Gerald present. It was one of the most civilised job interviews I have ever had. Happy to say I was offered the appointment of Workshop Manager.

(more…)

To Renovate…

February 22, 2010

Or not to renovate? That is the question.

You see, my bicycle, lovely as it is, just doesn’t have the lustre it had 34 years ago when it was wheeled out of the Ilkeston cycle works. The blemishes it has dotted all over it mar it’s appeal to some degree and it is for that very reason I have this mental tussle.

But why would you want to paint out all of that history? Sure it has a few scratches here and there but those scratches allude to it’s racing career and it’s time before me and to paint it would seem like I would be erasing it all. Like the hypnotist in the 2003 film Oldboy removing Dae-Su’s memory for the better. Or is it actually for the better? A friend recently said it would be “like buying the Mona Lisa and having her smile adjusted because you liked it better that way”.

That said, the owner of the previously mentioned Mona Lisa painting would be the owner so that individual could do with that paining as they saw fit. Right?

Wrong. A part of me believes that something of history, a classic item ( so long as it is not completely and utterly in need of renovation with blemishes that are of detriment to itself ) should not be tampered with and the possessor of such an item has somewhat of a responsibility of ensuring this. If not for the sake of him/herself then for the sake of the future because once that original paint and original decals are removed, they are gone, for eternity.

But then would a renovation not become part of the frame’s history in itself or would it devalue the item in another 34 years when it is discovered that the frame’s enamel jacket is less like a tube television and more like 30″ plasma screen? In viewing terms the tube worked just fine, showed TV programs, videos no problem but now we need plasma because it ‘looks’ better.

I think if I were to paint my 1976 Raleigh track frame ( SB numbered 969 ) I would completely regret it. It would ‘look’ better, I know it would but I would feel like I have wronged the earth in some way, like I had just removed a facet of it’s workings. I would also ( knowing my love for tradition ) grow to dislike the bicycle and end up selling it. This because in my eyes without it’s o.g jacket it would just be like most other resprayed professional racing frames out there: Void of any sort of credibilty of racing history or heritage.

And is racing history and heritage not the very reason we all love these classic, vintage bicycles in the first place?

Indeed it is and for that reason my bicycle, as it stands gets to live another day in it’s original condition. So like the very 19th century wooden framed windows that I peer out of on this cloudy day, history remains.

Raleigh Identification…

October 20, 2009

…But excluding SB serial numbers.

If you are lucky enough to own an SB numbered special products Raleigh frame like myself you may or may not know that you cannot really pin point the dates as they started at 1 and worked up to over a thousand, sequentially.

My particular ‘SB’ Raleigh has a number of 969 and when cross referenced to other SB frames I found that mine was made sometime in late 1976 and that is about as far as I have got!

RaleighSerialNumbers

Heatwave.

July 15, 2009

So last nights ride was cancelled due to bad weather, and by the looks of it the rain that we are currently experiencing will persist well into next week so unfortunately the WWFGSC will be on hold until the Lord sees fit for us to have this Heatwave we are so deserved of.

To keep me and hopefully you guys sane and eager to get out riding here is a pic of my Raleigh basking beside me in the sun at Cannon Hill park a couple weeks back, oh the memories!

P1020481

As always, keep em peeled on Spinwell and on your mobile communication device for updates on rides.

By the way, Luke and Callum it was nice to meet you last night and I am sorry you had a wasted journey but keep your fingers crossed and next week we should be rolling!

Raleigh Professional Track.

May 27, 2009

DSCF6179
DSCF6183

I was looking for one of these in my size for quite some time and to my amazement just recently I managed to snag one and here it is, just completed, my 1974 Ilkeston Built, 531, Raleigh professional track bike. It wasn’t in the best of conditions to begin with but after a bit of tender love and care and a trip the the chromers for the forks it is back on the road and in full effect!

I need to grip an original Headbadge for it and a set of Campy cranks but apart from that I reckon it’s done. Boom, Here is to a great summer!


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