The 50 bike collection will be displayed in the newly restored Motoring Village at the Brooklands Motor Museum at Weybridge, Surrey. Thanks to cash from Halfords and the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as Raleigh, the musuem has created a special display area rather than simply stick the bikes in a corner somewhere. The backdrop is a turn of the century cycle repair workshop which contrasts nicely with the shiny titanium bits on the later machines.
Brooklands is a historic motor racing circuit (the first purpose-built one in the world) but it also has long links with cycle racing, having staged the first cycle race in June 1907, three months after the track was opened.
The cycle archive will be officially opened on Tuesday, April 18th. Raleigh team member Barrie Clarke will ride his race MTB through the opening tape in the presence of Raleigh MD Phillip Darnton and the Chairman of Brooklands Museum Trust, Lord Tombs of Brailes.
The Raleigh Cycle Collection covers the history of cycling from the early safety cycles of the 1880s through to RSWs of the 60s, Choppers of the 70s and top-end MTBs of the 90s. There’s also the Raleigh Select electric bike (definitely a musuem piece!) and Raleigh’s millionth mountain bike.
The display begins in 1886 with the little workshop in Raleigh Street where three men turned out three bicycles a week.
After the company was bought byRaleigh was famous for its success in racing from as early as the 1890s when A. A. Zimmerman won numerous races, broke records and became Champion of the World on a Raleigh. There’s a bike from the Zimmerman period in the collection.
There’s also a 1948 Record Ace as used by champion cyclist of his day, Reg Harris. ‘Reg rides a Raleigh’ sold millions of bikes in the late 40s and 50s.
In order to encourage youngsters to take up cycling the Brooklands musuem has developed a special cycle activity area next to the Education Centre.