Raleigh Chopper Owners Club     ( www.rcoc.co.uk )                     



        THE SHOP




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 "stickers" on
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! literally!
They were beautiful! The men and women that applied them took pride in it.
Their hearts jumped and they smiled and they created something wonderful and
British and good. The decals on a bicycle, a Raleigh bicycle. Mr. Darnton
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 paint
and create and decorate magical things in a family atmosphere. People fell
in love there, and married and had families. Work was good and steady. If
Sillitoe is to be believed then people also got into mischief there also.
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. Anyways the
workers got to have hands on in being part of something good for their
country, the neighbourhood, the whole world with wide eyed kids and excited
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 looking
paintwork. It was a Raleigh.

A form of efficient, cheap, healthy transportation for millions worldwide.
Without the bicycle, the world would be a far, far, poorer place. The
effect, the good, fortunate, blessings, the hope and good business
prosperity, that the bicycle enabled millions to enjoy.
Think about it here, it has been a priceless gift, a good thing that Raleigh
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 British
workers could contribute to the benefit of Humanity.
Yes, that's first. But Sir, I say that the manufacture of a special bicycle,
a Raleigh bicycle is not too far down from the top of the ladder from
creating miracle new medical procedures.

The Queen should have knight Darnton as Sir. Darnton and applaud the
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 work in
something magical.
She got to make magical things with a co-worker crew that was like family.
Few other companies turn out products as magical as a bicycle, a Raleigh

Examine the high number of loyal employees, who stayed for years.
Think over and determine why they stayed. Was the pay THAT good? Could they
have gotten higher pay elsewhere? These people believed in that place, those
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 company knew
how to create loyalty in its employees.

So many other things, so many other companies, don't give a damn, the
products they make are nowhere as magical, or as wonderful or as important
as a thing so associated with freedom and independence and healthy living as
a bicycle.
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. That's why
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 Britain.
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. Patriotic and
I wish somebody important would stir up nationalism amongst the Brits and
shut this door to cheap junk from China and re-awaken the pride of being
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 manufacturing
industries to foreigners bit by bit, a bicycle industry here and god knows
what else there, bit by bit, It weakens the country.
People all over the world have been loyal to Raleigh. Jobbers in the field,
dealers, customers.
This was a marvellous company, there were marvellous times.
To have a director ask and not already understand is sad. To see him asking
employees why they loved Raleigh is interesting. The fact that he listened
tells me perhaps he'll understand. Or understands.

Few executives have had the chance to be associated with something so
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 has another
bicycle mounted on the first and he's sitting like 14 feet up and he's
sitting there with his foot balancing the whole thing and he's smiling. They
went all over touting the bicycle which was a B.S.A but this was done with
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 "Christmas
Order out"


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