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.