Saturday, April 28 – Renolds factory visit

Today, a day of events. It should have been my run (as leader) to Castle Mill, but an invitation from Messrs. Hans Renolds ‘put it off’. It is also the day of the Cup Final – Bolton v West Ham, and excitement was noticed everywhere. Being late, I started for Walkden, knowing that the clubrun would pass this way. I was not deceived, for as I reached Walkden I met one chap. At Worsley another joined us. The bridge at Barton was closed to allow a freighter to pass along the Canal, and we came upon the rest of the clubrun waiting, all 35 of them.

Pushing on we made an excellent pace and we were at our destination by 3.45pm.  Entering, we were led into the big dining hall where an envelope containing a book on cycle chains and adverts was given to each of us. We were then marshalled into parties for there were – or had been – some 300 cyclists being shown around.  Starting at the office, we reached the elementary schools where every employee over the age of 18, was forced at their firm’s expense to attend for one hour a week. Then we reached the steel testing room.

Here, a sample of steel is taken, twisted and broken etc. For motorcycles it gave at a pressure of 11,200lbs and for cycle chains, at 2,470lbs. Next came the various machines for cutting, stamping and pressing various components (links, studs and rivets). Now the links were made into chains by machinery and again tested. One piece of Renold improved chain – cycle – held unaided a dead weight of 15 cwt [approx 750 kg – Ed].  A laboratory was next on the list. Here chains were run at high speed out of alignment (three eighths of an inch), another was fed with Gredag and silver sand to test the wearing properties, whilst another was run at a speed of 50,000 revs per minute.

Now came a wash and brush up – for us! We had no time for other than the cycle parts for they also make chains for anything up to a factory engine. Now a tea was served and afterward we retired for a bit of merriment and music. A terrific downpour of rain kept us in for a while. Here we received word that Bolton had won the Cup Final with a 2 – 0 result, and a terrific cheer was set up.

At last we started back at 6.30pm with capes on. We returned by our outward route, and on the way through Stretford we were able to remove our capes. Near Walkden we, (about 15 of us), called at a member’s house for a cup of tea and a tune on their gramophone. At Moses Gate we invaded another house but found them out, so we returned home at 9.45pm. We have spent a most enjoyable half day around the works and a ‘buckshee’ tea completed an excellent schedule which was crowned by Bolton’s cup winning feat.

35 miles, 8 hours