Early Life and Education

Dr Alex Moulton was born in Stratford upon Avon, in April 1920, the youngest child of John Moulton (1886-1926). John Moulton was the grandson of Stephen Moulton, who had brought the Goodyear rubber vulcanisation process to England in the 1840s, and in 1846 commenced rubber production in Bradford on Avon.

After the death of his father, Alex Moulton came live in Bradford on Avon, at The Hall, a 17th century house, which had been purchased by his great grandfather, Stephen Moulton in the 1840s. Alex and his two elder siblings were brought up by his mother and grandmother. From an early age, he was influenced by the presence of the Great Western Railway, which ran very close to the estate, and by the presence of the family owned rubber firm, Spencer Moulton.

The young Alex Moulton developed an early interest in bicycles, and on more than one occasion, cycled the 75 mile journey from Bradford on Avon to his maternal grandparents’ house in Stratford upon Avon. He also had an interest in all things mechanical, and built a steam powered car as a teenager.

After secondary school education at Marlborough College, Alex Moulton went to King’s College Cambridge in 1938, where he studied Mechanical Engineering.

When World War 2 broke out, he suspended his engineering degree, in order to volunteer. He spent the war years working at Bristol Engines which developed and built engines which were supplied to the Royal Air Force. During the war, the Bristol factory was regularly bombed, and several colleagues were injured and killed in the raids.

After the war, he went to work for the Spencer Moulton rubber company, in which the Moulton family retained a small shareholding.

In 1947, Alex returned to Cambridge to complete his engineering degree, after which he continued to work at Spencer Moulton. During his time at Spencer Moulton, Alex Moulton engaged in research and development work on rubber to metal bonding, which would feature heavily in his later work on automotive and bicycle suspensions.

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