Skip to content

Major new cycle history interview

Interested in the history of Raleigh, Sturmey-Archer, Brooks, Pashley or Moulton? Or maybe in the wider development and changes the British cycle industry has undergone in the last 50 years? Then this interview, which I recorded on 23rd March 2016, is for you.

John Macnaughtan spent 48 years at Raleigh and Sturmey-Archer. Early in his career, he was sent to Raleigh South Africa and he soon became Director of Raleigh Industries East Africa. Later, with David Duffield, he set up Raleigh Australia. John joined Sturmey-Archer in 1977 and became Sales and Marketing Director in 1981. After the sale of Sturmey-Archer to Sun Race, he became Managing Director of Raleigh International. He was instrumental in saving the Brooks saddle company and became a co-owner of Pashley. Today, he spends much of his time at Bradford-on-Avon, dealing with the export of Moulton bicycles.

The interview, in two parts and full of unique insights and recollections, is now on the Veteran-Cycle Club YouTube channel.
Part 1: John Macnaughtan interview Part 1
Part 2: John Macnaughtan interview Part 2

2016-03-21 John Macnaughtan.jpg

New hub and bracket gear tables

You may have seen elsewhere on this site (in the comments on John Allen’s hub gear table in the Gears section) that Wiel van den Broek has created some very useful Excel spreadsheets for gearing choices involving hub gears and bracket gears. You can enter the tyre format, chainwheel and sprocket sizes and instantly compare the results given by different gears.

The gears covered range some more than 100 years old to others that are in current production. There is a metric- and an inch-chart, both of which you can download from these links:

Metric (development):

Inches (equivalent diameter of direct-drive cranked wheel):

Many thanks to Wiel for creating these spreadsheets.



The End of the Hydes of Hyde End

For the full and most up-to-date version of my article on the recusant Hydes of Berkshire, see the 10-page PDF file here: Hydes

Sturmey-Archer Story supplement

It’s amazing to think that 28 years have passed since my book The Sturmey-Archer Story was published. You can still buy it from the Veteran-Cycle Club’s sales officer (email: or from Dorothy Pinkerton (telephone: +44 (0)121 350 0685). Remarkably, the price has hardly changed, despite decades of inflation.

Whether you are a new purchaser of the book or bought it years ago, don’t forget to read the free supplement. It contains a host of information, some of which is not available elsewhere:

  • Product developments by Sturmey-Archer and its competitors in the period between publication of the book and the closure of Sturmey-Archer’s British operations.
  • How Sturmey-Archer ceased to be a British company and became Taiwanese.
  • The auctioneer’s detailed list of Sturmey-Archer plant sold off when the British factory closed.
  • Additional information about the period covered by the book.
  • Corrections.

The supplement is available free of charge on this website by clicking on the Cycling tab above and following the drop-down link to Gears. But if you want a printer-friendly version, so that you can print out a tidy 26-page A4 version, click here: S-A Story supplement

You can also save the supplement as a PDF file to read on your desktop computer, tablet or phone by right-clicking the link above and ‘saving link as’.


Descended from gunner Andrew Kenneally and his wife Annie, née Gill?

Annie Gill was a half-sister of William Gill, the explorer and intelligence officer. Born about 1864 in India, in 1886 she married Andrew Kenneally, an Irish soldier born in Galway about 1859. The couple lived in India until 1899 but by 1901 were living in Dover. Andrew was a gunner in the Royal Artillery but became a general labourer on retiring from the army. Andrew was my great-grandfather Charles Fisher’s best man and Annie was one of my great-great aunts and a daughter of my great-great grandfather Robert Gill.

If you are descended from Andrew and Annie, I’d be very interested to hear from you. Email me at:

I’m particularly interested in hearing from Neil Barber and Michael-John Wright, both of whom appear to be descended from Andrew and Annie Kenneally.


A talk worth hearing if you are in the Vale of White Horse

Poster for Yellow Jersey Club talk

Get my Moulton books for less

Never assume that Amazon’s prices are always the lowest! Sometimes they are even lower than the normal trade price but in some cases they can be quite inflated.

Via the Amazon UK website, if you click on the tiny links for ‘New’ copies from other sources, you can get the reprinted hardback edition of The Spaceframe Moultons for £43.40 (Amazon’s own price is £70.90!), the softback pocket-size version for £17.95 and the hardback The F-Frame Moultons (the new reprinted edition of The Moulton Bicycle) for £25.21 (Amazon’s own price is £36.76).

The two hardbacks come straight from the publisher in Switzerland, so you can see the enormous mark-up applied further along the supply chain. All prices quoted above are as at 17th April 2015 and exclude postage but this is clearly shown on the website and is not very expensive.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 61 other followers