Odds and quads

May 6, 2010




This memorial stands at the heart of the University of Nottingham's Jubilee Campus, on a site where, in 1952, the Duke of Edinburgh opened Raleigh's latest bicycle factory.

The year before, the firm, which took its name from its original location on Raleigh Street, had produced more than 1 million bikes, which carried their "made in Nottingham" badge around the world. The new factory was so large that workers cycled from one section to another to deliver messages.

It was here that the writer Alan Sillitoe, who died last week, started work at the age of 14 - an experience that he drew on in his pioneering novel, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1958).

It was also here that the 1960 film of the book was shot, using factory workers as extras.

The University of Nottingham acquired land from Raleigh in 1995 and completed phase one of the Jubilee Campus in 1999. However, it was not until November 2002, 50 years after it was built, that the last part of the vast factory closed. It was landscaped and redeveloped for phase two of the campus.

The memorial, which incorporates a frieze from the factory, was unveiled in 2008 and remains as a tribute to generations of British bicycle manufacturing.

Send suggestions for this series on the sector's treasures, oddities and curiosities to:matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com

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