On 31st July 2015 John Kerby retires from a lifetime career at Pashley Cycles having completed 46 years and 10 months service. He joined Pashley on 5th September 1968 as an 18 year old carpenter soon after the business had moved from Birmingham to its current site at Masons Road, Stratford. His hourly wage then was 4s 6d and the factory was less than half the size it is today.
John enjoyed a successful career path, working his way up to the position of Production Manager. Throughout his time, he has overseen the manufacture of a huge variety of different products, including classic bicycles, tricycles, tandems and delivery cycles. All of this happening at a time when Pashley stayed with the craft of making bicycles in England when almost every other bicycle maker gave up and became importers.
“There have been many notable events along the way” John recalls; “In 1975 Pashley won the Royal Mail contract which was 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. 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”
The highlight of his career happened 35 years ago on November 9th, John remembers “Tim Pashley and I travelled to Annecy on the French/Swiss border with a flatbed trailer to collect two wheel building machines. I enjoyed a week’s training and then set up a wheel building shop which immediately generated 300-400 wheels per day”.
Upon his retirement John intends to travel with his wife of 40 years, Linda and continue his interest in shooting, cricket and golf.
“I was so pleased when Adrian Williams bought the business because he continued the values of the Pashley name and maintained bicycle manufacturing in Stratford-upon-Avon such that the business will be 90 years old in 2016 and it still feels like we are a family ”
Adrian Williams reflects “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.”