Pashley Cycles stalwart reaches the end of a 50 year journey

Posted on 30 Jul 2015 by Jonny Williamson

Friends and colleagues at Stratford-upon-Avon-based manufacturer Pashley Cycles have bid farewell to John Kerby who has retired after almost 47 years with the company.

In his time with Pashley, Kerby has worked his way up the career ladder – starting as an 18-year-old carpenter earning 4s 6d an hour, through to Production Manager.

Pashley Cycles’ John Kerby.
Pashley Cycles’ John Kerby.

His retirement comes ahead of the company’s 90th year in business next year.

Described as being “popular” with staff and “instrumental in the company’s continued growth,” Kerby joined Pashley shortly after the firm moved from Birmingham to its current location in Masons Road, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Over time he has seen Pashley Cycles manufacture an impressive range of products including classic bicycles; tricycles; tandems, and delivery cycles, as well as acquiring other bicycle companies and suppliers at a time when many competitors gave up the manufacturing of cycles, instead importing them from abroad.

Reflecting on his time with the company, he recalled: “In 1975 Pashley won the Royal Mail contract, a massive boost for the company.

“In those days there was no such thing as quality standards, so they sent inspectors into the factory on a daily basis to check frames before painting and again before the finished product was despatched. This led to us supplying Royal Mail for over 35 years.”

Pashley Cycles - Adrian Williams and John Kerby
(L to R) Adrian Williams and John Kerby, both Pashley Cycles.

He continued: “We also made cycles for UNICEF – sending thousands to Africa for nurses to use in their efforts to eradicate smallpox. We even made bikes for Raleigh for sale in France and Nigeria.”

Managing director of Pashley Cycles, Adrian Williams added: “John has made a massive contribution to the business and has taken less than a handful of days off sick in nearly 47 years.

“He is part of our history and family. We wish him a wonderful retirement and sincerely thank him for helping us on our way forward.”

Kerby said he plans to spend his retirement with wife Linda. The former Stratford-upon-Avon Cricket Club captain will also pursue his three main hobbies – cricket, shooting and golf.