This is an email from my friend
Clarence C. Kokkinis from the USA. I thought it was such a great
read, I have put it on the site for you all to enjoy.
I got typing here and something took over
I was reading what Mr. Darnton said and was appalled. He was
asking a 25
year veteran employee why she came to work every day to put
bikes he wanted to know why she loved Raleigh.
He does not know? He has to ask? Those "stickers" are
a magical thing!
They are called decals or transfers and they were works of art!
They were beautiful! The men and women that applied them took
pride in it.
Their hearts jumped and they smiled and they created something
British and good. The decals on a bicycle, a Raleigh bicycle.
must have loved aspects of his job. The salary, the perks, a
nice car, being
important, calling the shots. Still those employees got to build
and create and decorate magical things in a family atmosphere.
in love there, and married and had families. Work was good and
Sillitoe is to be believed then people also got into mischief
That happens unfortunately. People were furious at that book
because it cast
Raleigh workers, the British public in a bad light. Also, it
being set in an
actual company with an actual name instead of a fictional
company in a
fictional town. It was not fit for a young girl to read
commented one person
when asked about the book. It was assigned to school children.
workers got to have hands on in being part of something good for
country, the neighbourhood, the whole world with wide eyed kids
adults all over the world assembling a bicycle to ride or
opening it up on
Christmas morning all excited at flashing chrome and candy-opulent
paintwork. It was a Raleigh.
A form of efficient, cheap, healthy transportation for millions
Without the bicycle, the world would be a far, far, poorer
effect, the good, fortunate, blessings, the hope and good
prosperity, that the bicycle enabled millions to enjoy.
Think about it here, it has been a priceless gift, a good thing
workers sweated to offer to the world.
Create a new miracle drug that cures and heals millions and
makes possible a
better life. That would be the best thing a British company and
workers could contribute to the benefit of Humanity.
Yes, that's first. But Sir, I say that the manufacture of a
a Raleigh bicycle is not too far down from the top of the ladder
creating miracle new medical procedures.
The Queen should have knight Darnton as Sir. Darnton and applaud
employees at Raleigh as good citizens of the Crown.
He ran the company and does not know of it's magic?
More tragically he did not understand how to use that magic!
Now it's too late!
The employee who stuck stickers said: It was the family atmosphere.
Something deeper was that she realized she had the chance to
She got to make magical things with a co-worker crew that was
Few other companies turn out products as magical as a bicycle, a
Examine the high number of loyal employees, who stayed for
Think over and determine why they stayed. Was the pay THAT good?
have gotten higher pay elsewhere? These people believed in that
people, those directors, It was a company where granddad and
dad, and mum
and sister Molly worked for. It was steady, and decent, and the
how to create loyalty in its employees.
So many other things, so many other companies, don't give a
products they make are nowhere as magical, or as wonderful or as
as a thing so associated with freedom and independence and
healthy living as
People see things they make as mundane and plain common junk
that offers no
magic, has no soul and their work life is spent unhappily
knocking it out.
This was not the case with Raleigh, the bikes and the people.
they stayed and were loyal!
A worker needs to have a belief in and an interest in the job.
They were British people making British goods for the glory of
Sure, for that weekly check, to earn a living yes. To have a
job, to earn a
wage. But they accomplished the other things I speak of here
also. They put
Nottingham on the map for the best bicycles on the planet.
The company was owned and run by people of good character.
I wish somebody important would stir up nationalism amongst the
shut this door to cheap junk from China and re-awaken the pride
British and believing in and using British made goods. Britain
is losing her
soul by letting things like a Raleigh bicycle and a company and
a home and
thriving world market fall from it's grasp. Losing her
industries to foreigners bit by bit, a bicycle industry here and
what else there, bit by bit, It weakens the country.
People all over the world have been loyal to Raleigh. Jobbers in
This was a marvellous company, there were marvellous times.
To have a director ask and not already understand is sad. To see
employees why they loved Raleigh is interesting. The fact that
tells me perhaps he'll understand. Or understands.
Few executives have had the chance to be associated with
interesting and wonderful. I wish Mr. Darnton well.
Clarence C. Kokkinis
I have a picture and article of the Sambo JOS Acrobatic Troupe
and they were
blacks in Ghana with a bicycle balanced on two oil drums and he
bicycle mounted on the first and he's sitting like 14 feet up
sitting there with his foot balancing the whole thing and he's
went all over touting the bicycle which was a B.S.A but this was
Raleigh's as well and when this photo was taken and these
fellows doing this
by that time B.S.A. was Raleigh's property!
This was wonderland. They got to be elves who rushed to get the