In January of 1937 a young man the age of seventeen sailed from the port of New York on the steamer Berengaria. Upon arriving in Southhampton England to go to school Mr.Paul Savi stopped in to a local cycle shop and purchased a Raleigh Golden arrow. Paul completed four semesters and was doing well when his mother Eleanor requested his prompt return. The war was gaining momentum and the future of Europe was in question. Paul loved his bike and his mother was forced to book passage for the machine before her son would return home.
Eleanor could do little when Paul received notice that he would too be joining the war effort in March of 1943. He served his country and was discharged with honors. It is unknown to me when Paul met and married his bride but as post-war America grew, Paul and Eloise Savi returned to Charlestown New Hampshire to start their family on the property of his parents large estate.. The once prized Raleigh was kept indoors and cared for but ridden little.
The estate was quite large with 5 acres on main street and 4,000' feet of living space. With The elder Savis now gone a trust was set-up to provide for several years of maintainance of the Savi estate. Paul and Eloise lived a good life together and when she passed away Paul no longer wanted to live in the main house. The estate was purchased by long time family friends, Mr. and Mrs Martens and a bungalo was built from the garage and rented to Mr Savi for his home.
Years later, Paul Savi would move to his daughters home in Arizona and while his belongings were being packed Martha Martens noticed the bike in the corner of the garage. Paul told her the story of the now fifty year old machine had been his first adult transportation and that he had kept it all these years. Martha enjoyed entertaining and the bike would be a welcome addition to her beautiful home as a garden ornament to be brought out in the spring and returned to the garage in the fall.
Many years had passed and the aging Raleigh was no longer included in family picnics. Eventually it was edged outside permenently by a new riding lawnmower and quickly forgotten. Twenty years may have passed.
Max, the kid who works for me sometimes was helping out his buddy with some lawn-care work spotted the bike leaning behind the garden shed and called me. This was September of last year.
When we first spoke Martha didn't know the bike had been left outside. She wasn't happy. I stayed for a while and I told her I was interested in refurbuishing the old Raleigh. She would think about it and get back to me. I didn't think my chances were very good. She mentioned her son-in-law liked custom cars and might want the bike. I was sad.
When April of 2010 rolled around and Mrs Mortenson came to my shop. I was surprised to say the least. She told me that if I still wanted the Raleigh, I could have it. Her son in law, as it turns out is a customer of mine and has purchased several custom bikes.
Here is a few images of the Golden Arrow where it was found.
asfound1 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr
asfound2 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr
asfound3 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr
allsteelbicycle by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr
shop iso by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr
saddle by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr
RRfender by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr
RR hub by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr
cranksidestand by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr
chgainwheel by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr