Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Dr Alex Moulton CBE 1920 - 2012

On 9th December 2012, Dr Alex Moulton CBE passed away peacefully aged 92.  Dr Moulton was a British engineer and inventor who spend his career pioneering innovative suspension products and small-wheeled folding bicycles. 

I once had the privilege of meeting Dr Moulton when he visited a factory where I worked as an engineer.  We manufactured the conical rubber spring for the Mini and “Hydragas” suspension unit used in the Metro and MG-F, both of which were developed by Dr Moulton.

He had come to discuss the possibility of producing some new development samples of the Hydragas product and so I spent a fascinating and very enjoyable hour or two in discussion with a legend of British engineering.     He struck me as a very well-spoken, energetic and bright engineer with a real passion for the products he had developed.  The typical British inventor, if you will – right down to the tweed jacket!  Given that he must have been in his eighties at the time, his youthful energy and the sharpness of his mind were incredible.  That he was still developing products and innovating at a time in life when most people sit with their feet up, is a real tribute to the man.

I wish I had been a fan of folding bicycles back then as I would not have wasted the opportunity to discuss them with him!

There is also a short tribute to Dr Moulton on the Moulton Bicycles website here.  I hope that his products can go on inspiring future generations of engineers.  British engineering has lost one of its finest sons and my own thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.

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