Frank Bowden was told by a doctor to cycle for wellness of his fitness; the physicians had allowed him 6 months to live, subsequent to a gravely malady contracted overseas. Well-timed guidance such as riding a bike was becoming the “in thing.” In 1887, Bowden acquired a bike from a company that produced 3 bikes weekly. He was so fascinated that he made it to the Raleigh Street, Nottingham, address of the firm and afterwards proposed to acquire the firm.
Cycling being the present fad, manufacture obviously rose and larger locations were looked for and these were acquired in a different – Russell – Street. Bowden despite this, called his company, Raleigh Cycles, in reverence of the first place.
By 1896, Raleigh turned out to be the greatest bicycle producer worldwide and consequent to the development occupied seven and a half acres in Faraday Road.
Motor cyclists were not overlooked and in 1903, Raleigh produced the Raleighette, a 3wheeler which was belt driven. The Raleighette’s rider occupied the back and the passenger, sat on a seat between the two front tires. Economic losses caused the Raleighette’s closure in 1908;
1915: a baronet was made and turned out to be Sir Frank Bowden.
The name, Raleigh is common with bikes all over the world and in the middle of the 20th century, it was practically the top in this field.
Around the late 30s and 40s, Raleigh was manufacturing in the vicinity of twelve thousand bicycles each week – 600,000 a year. The distinctive Heron Head as well as “Made in Nottingham” was a recognizable sight and proved to everyone this was a Raleigh bicycle.
A paper advertisement of that age extolled the virtues of the Raleigh as: “easy running ands proving its worth on the highways and byways of every continent” – yes, even in the war torn Europe.
In the 60s and following years, the simpler availability of affordable vehicles triggered the decline of the former trusty bike, although Raleigh still kept assembling the bikes and had plants overseas. Ireland and Canada.
Today, anyone rolling around on a Raleigh must have had a excellent machine with a standing out and honored name.