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The final months of assembly at Raleigh's Nottingham factory captured by photographer - BikeBiz

The final months of assembly at Raleigh's Nottingham factory captured by photographer

The Nottingham Evening Post reports that a college lecturer spent six months capturing candid portraits of production line workers at Raleigh's Lenton factory, closed before the start of the Christmas break. The black-and-white photographs of the "dwindling band of employees" of a "once great company" are said to "reflect the sad atmosphere that preceded closure." Raleigh management supported the photography project and paid for prints to be given to those workers photographed.
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The Nottignham Evening Post story on the photographic project was typically apocalyptic and downbeat:

"Production lines which once throbbed with activity now stand silent...On that Lenton site, Nottingham's reputation as home to the finest cycle maker in the world was forged. But those days are now gone - only memories remain."

And to those memories can now be added an arty collection of black and white prints by Geoff Young, 50, a lecturer in photography and video at New College Nottingham.

"Industrial workplaces generally are very private, unseen by the vast majority of the population, but second homes to those who work there, often over very long periods. This was a brief glimpse into that world," Young told The Nottingham Evening Post.

The photographs will be on public show at the Broadway Cinema in Nottingham until the end of January.

"The final images form a celebration of the time and effort that is put in by industrial workers and, in the case of Raleigh, of its contribution to the life and culture of Nottingham during a period of over 100 years," Young told The Post.

"This should not be left unrecorded, even at such a late point in Raleigh's production history. I must have photographed between 100 and 150 people, at work and leisure. Every one of them will be given a free print of their photograph, paid for by Raleigh, who were very supportive.

"There was a sadness about the impending closure, but also an acceptance that it was a global trend and there was not much they could do about it.

"I met lots of interesting characters, of all age groups. I got a real feeling for the Raleigh family atmosphere."

The article made no mention of the fact Raleigh was not ceasing to be as a company, something that won't have pleased Raleigh management who have continually stressed to the media that the move to Eastwood is the start of a new era for the company, not the death of the brand.

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