In The News

Tributes are paid to the inspirational engineer Alex Moulton

Tributes are paid to the inspirational engineer Alex Moulton

TRIBUTES have been paid to the engineer and inventor Alex Moulton who made major contributions to both the British car industry and the world of cycling. He has passed away aged 92.

Dr. Moulton will be best remembered as the designer of the Moulton Bicycle — the distinctive, small-wheeled, bicycle which has built up an almost cult following since it first appeared on the market in the early 1960s.

The bike is credited with kick-starting the renewed interest in cycling which developed during the 60s with some well-known figures from the time being seen using a Moulton.

Dr. Moulton had offered the Raleigh company the opportunity to manufacture the bicycle under licence, but the firm rebuffed the approach, citing their belief the product would never sell. 

After being proved wrong, the Raleigh company was forced, several years later, to make an embarrassing u-turn and negotiate a deal with the designer.

The negativity which Dr. Moulton had experienced was similar to what his great-grandfather Stephen Moulton had faced in the 1880s. He had established a rubber business in 1884 after failing to sell-on a manufacturing licence which he had negotiated with the American Charles Goodyear.

Dr. Moulton had joined the family business after the Second World War and had begun working on ways of using rubber in the suspension systems of vehicles.

His research led him to work with Sir Alec Issigonis — who went on to design the Mini. Their partnership resulted in the Hydrolastic suspension system (which then evolved into the Hydrogas system) being using in a range of British cars, including the Austin Mini and the Austin Allegro.

Dr. Moulton never married, citing his fascination for engineering and his belief that his devotion to his work would have made it impossible for him to look after a wife and family.

Among the many tributes which were paid to the engineer and inventor was one from The Moulton Bicycle Company. In a statement, the company said: “Dr. Moulton was an inspiration for generations of engineers, designers and inventors”.

To view footage of Sir Alex Moulton delivering The Bugatti Design Lecture at Coventry University, click here.

View previous In the News items: Astronomer and broadcaster Sir Patrick Moore passes away, Tributes are paid to former Hawkwind guitarist Huw Lloyd Langton, People pay last respects to hero of the Blitz, Jazz great Dave Brubeck passes away, Former Liverpool manager and player passes away, Death rate continues to fall in Northern Ireland, Tributes are paid to the man who put colour into digital photography, Organ transplant pioneer Joseph Murray passes away, Tributes are paid to TV star Larry Hagman, Australian author Bryce Courtenay passes away, Westminster Abbey honour announced for writer C S Lewis, Influential church musician Sir Philip Ledger passes away, Tributes are paid to the painter and sculptor William Turnbull, Retailer who helped Elvis with fashion advice passes away, Tributes are paid to photographer Alf Kumalo, Widow of poet TS Eliot passes away, Former governor of the Falkland Islands Sir Rex Hunt passes away, Former Coronation Street star Bill Tarmey passes away, Headstone is erected 94 years after burial of Portadown soldier, Tributes are paid to actor Clive Dunn, Funeral of Comber soldier Channing Day to take place, Funeral of murdered prison officer David Black takes place, Former racing driver John Fitch passes away, Tributes are paid to songwriter Bill Dees, Tributes are paid to musician Jo Dunne, Composer Hans Werner Henze passes away, Battle of Britain pilot William Walker passes away, Veteran US politician George McGovern passes away, Genius inventor Stanford Ovshinsky passes away, Former footballer Helmut Haller passes away, Tributes are paid to veteran MP Sir Stuart Bell, Scientist behind cloning breakthrough passes away, Tributes are paid to former cricketer Kevin Curran, Former PoW Eric Lomax passes away, Atom bomb physicist Robert Christy passes away, Great session guitarist Big Jim Sullivan passes away, Tributes are paid to historian Eric Hobsbawm, Motown producer Frank Wilson passes away, Veteran actor Herbert Lom passes away, Singer Andy Williams passes away, Former football manager John Bond passes away, Tributes are paid to Cookstown funeral director, Tributes are paid to top wine merchant, Former London gangster Charlie Richardson passes away, American poet Louis Simpson passes away, Funeral takes place of tragic father and sons, Former footballer Jimmy Andrews passes away, Man behind advances in Formula 1 racing safety passes away, Discovered remains may be those of Richard III, Film producer Jake Eberts passes away or Inventor of modern laptop computer Bill Moggridge passes away


If you have a relative or a friend who has passed away and feel they should be mentioned in our In the News section, then please email us.