Carlton Timeline 
1898 Fred Hanstock founds Carlton Cycles in the North Nottinghamshire village of Carlton-in-Lindrick.
1900 The business expands and moves to a garage in nearby Maltby.
1918? Fred is made an offer on the garage. He sells at a considerable profit and moves back into the old premises at Carlton. Two employees are taken on full time to help with the increasing workload. Cycle production takes a back seat as motorcycle and car repair become more profitable.
1920? Motorcycles begin to play a major part in the business; Fred takes on a NSU dealership.
1922? Fred produces his own motorcycles on a small scale using JAP, Villiers and Sturmey Archer engines. The Super Sports model sells for £36.00.00
1932 Fred is approached by well-known local cyclist Tommy Ashurst who wants a cycle for racing, and thus the first “special Carlton” is produced.
1933 The business runs into financial difficulties and is saved when Fred enters into partnership with Charles Fitzroy, the son of Lord Southampton. Originally a ruse to extract money from his father, it results in the saving of Carlton. On 13th December the business is registered and officially becomes CARLTON CYCLES LTD.
1934 The company leaves Carlton-in-Lindrick for good and moves into larger premises at Bridge Street in the nearby town of Worksop.
1935 Carlton employs approximately twenty people.
1936 The company is reorganised. The plant and methods of manufacture are specially adapted to the production of high-grade racing and club cycles.
1936-37 New models are introduced including The Flyer, Massed Start, Massed Start Special, Super Python, Continental and Silver Clubman
1937? At the Olympia Motorcycle and Cycle show, D R O’Donovan enquires if there are any openings for him at Carlton. He’s taken on, starting initially as a salesman. But his talents are soon recognised and before long is having a big effect on the company, introducing a new way of selling cycles through a network of dealers. Later in the year they move again, this time to an ex-grain store in Clarence Road.
1939? Fred relinquishes his interests in Carlton and restarts Hanstock Engineering with his nephew Gordon. The O’Donovan family take over control of the company.
1939-45 Cycles are produced and repaired for the war effort. Carlton start their first service department this way.
1945-46 The lease on Clarence Road comes up for sale, The O’Donovans cannot agree on a price and so Carlton look for yet another premises. A former brewery in Dock Road, used as warehouse during the war, becomes the companies fifth home.
1948 to mid 1950’s Carlton do well in the post war cycling boom as demand for lightweight cycles hits an all time high. Many new models are introduced during this period
1958 D R O’Donovan’s son Gerald joins the family firm after a career in the RAF.
1950’s After Raleigh’s merger with the TI Group, they look for ways to break into the quality hand built market. Ex-racing star and Raleigh employee Reg Harris, suggests they should purchase an existing company after his idea to start a business under his own name is turned down by Raleigh.
March 1960 TI Raleigh take over Carlton Cycles; Reg Harris joins the Carlton board for a short time. Production is approximately 2,500 per year.
1961 Production of Sun Cycles is transferred to Worksop, Carlton employees rise to 60.
1962 In August the Dock Road factory is all but destroyed by fire, sadly a boy dies after becoming trapped. By November with help from the employees, production resumes in a former timber mill on the outskirts of Worksop at Kilton.
1963 The Carlton-BMB racing team is formed. Riders include; George Shaw, Michael Coupe, Mike Harpham and Sean Ryan.
1967 This year a new range of framesets is introduced, including the team issue “Team Carlton”. The 1967 squad includes Peter Chisman, Arthur Metcalfe, John Aslin, Bernard Burns and George Shaw. Carlton BMB win forty first places during the season in road, track and cyclo-cross. John Atkins wins the National Cyclo-cross Championship for a third time on his Carlton.

Carlton announce in September that all future Carltons will have 36 hole rims, instead of the British orthodox 32-40.

1968 Carlton-BMB changes their name to Raleigh and become the first British team to race on the Continent since Hercules in the 1950’s. Trevor Bull is crowned the British Professional Sprint Champion.
1969 The team’s name is changed back to Carlton.
1970 Another name change, this time to Carlton-Truwel-Campagnolo. Australian Gordie Johnson signs and later in the year becomes World Professional Sprint Champion.
1971 Lijn Loevesijn joins the team. The 1971 European Sprint Championship is an all Carlton final; Loevesijn beats Johnson into second place to take the title. Later in the year he takes the World Sprint title in Rotterdam.
1972 The Carlton team name disappears for good and becomes TI Raleigh. An experimental carbon fibre frame is tested.
1973 The Kilton factory employs 340 people and production reaches 2,500 a week. It no longer becomes possible to build made to measure frames at Worksop, Raleigh transfer this facility to the newly set up Special Products Division at Ilkeston, Derbyshire, headed by Gerald O’Donovan.
1974 A recession in the US is blamed for a slump in sales. In July 100 redundancies are announced after many employees have been on a three-day week. These take effect from 8th August.
1979 In September 160 are laid off as a result of an engineering union dispute
1980 The year ends with a total production of 72,000 cycles, considerably down on forecasts.
1981 In January 650 redundancies are announced. By March, in a ballot put forward by Raleigh, the workers vote to close the Worksop factory and take the redundancy terms. By the end of the month though, they change their minds and decide to go for only partial closure. The proposed redundancy payments are announced in April. In a turn around Raleigh decide to close the factory completely, and, on 29th May, 83 years of production on Carlton premises comes to an end. 202 employees loose their jobs. Production continues for a while on a much-reduced scale at Raleigh in Nottingham.

Grateful thanks to Rob Iredale for this timeline.

© Copyright 2004-22 Jeremy P.Mortimore