A Lifetime Guarantee

This was another long term partnership with the University of Nottingham in which we created a touring show, performed by a community cast, that went out to the areas in and around Nottingham where the greatest number of Raleigh pension cheques are still being sent. Each show was once again totally sold out (although the performances were free).

It was a highly complicated piece, blending film, projection, monologue and a tandem, and was perhaps the most sophisticated show we have ever produced. We subsequently performed it at the T.U.C building in London to an audience who, just like everyone else, believed everything that we wanted them to believe.

As the flyers said –

‘The Raleigh Players (a bunch of us who used to work there) have come together to make a show. We’ll explain the reason for doing so when we meet up, but we can tell you that it’s all to do with a tandem, and quite an extraordinary one at that. But more importantly it tells the story of the factory where so many people in Nottingham worked over so many years. Some say its lace that’s made Nottingham, and some say Robin Hood, but everyone across the world has heard of a Raleigh bicycle, and people from countries you’ve never even heard of have ridden on them. Because a Raleigh bike is a beautiful thing; and it’s us here in this city that made them.

It’s a lively show, full of films and fun and people from across the ages. Some of what you will see has never been seen before, and some of it will remind you of exactly what it was like to work there, whatever Shop you were in (or Department to you non Raleigh folk). It starts from the very beginning and runs right through to the very end, well of the factory anyway. And it’s jam packed with the kind of tiny details that made our bicycles so great.

So if you’re interested in the history of where you live or are someone who likes cycling; someone who remembers cleaning their childhood bike or, of course, someone who used to work (and play) at The Raleigh you’re more than welcome. Pop on your cycle clips and come and join us.’

A chapter based on this work is available in the Routledge International Handbook of the Arts and Education, published this October (1914).

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