My first touring bike was a 1986 ten speed Dawes Galaxy. Picked up for a song, I set about restoring it to its original condition. I was amazed by the quality if its engineering and build. It became an excellent teacher and introduction to the joys of ‘classic’ cycle touring. I used that bike to ride across France, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Sweden.
The Galaxies were solidly built Birmingham assembled bikes. In the late 1980s Dawes moved production out of the UK. With that move their crown as one of the best touring bikes began to slip and was finally lost to the new generation of dedicated touring machines.
The Wiki entry:
Dawes Cycles is a British bicycle manufacturer known for its high-quality hand-built bicycles. Dawes produces a full range of bikes including road, mountain bikes and tandems, but is best known for touring bikes, specifically the Galaxy and the Super Galaxy model lines.
Founded in Birmingham, the company is now a significant brand in the UK. It is not related to Dawes USA. Dawes was originally primarily a racing cycle manufacturer, and it was in this guise that the trademark Galaxy first appeared, but since 1971, when it was fitted with wide-ratio gears and Reynolds 531 tubing, the Galaxy was viewed as the benchmark in the English touring bicycle market. Bikes were originally hand-built in Tyseley, near Birmingham, but frames are now manufactured in the Far East and assembled in the UK.