I took a ride down to the park this evening. The clouds were finally starting to drift in, and it turned out to be pretty dreary, but cool and dry. We will have rain here tomorrow. The Raleigh Sports is a great bicycle for all around riding.
I also received in the mail a bag full of M8 red fiber washers. These are the style used on Raleigh and early Schwinn ("Schwinn Built", not "Schwinn Approved") brake calipers. Sheldon Brown remarks that these red fiber washers are used as buffers to properly space the halves of the caliper and to provide some lubrication while preventing binding.
I used a vernier to measure the fiber disc off a set of Raleigh brakes from the 1960s, and found that an M8 fiber washer is very close. So I ordered a bag from England (could not find a good price on small bulk - 50 or so).
On examination, these red fiber washers from Britain are much like the old Raleigh washers. In terms of hardness, they're the same thickness as a Raleigh fiber washer when new, but slightly harder. They strike me as being closer in size to Raleigh fiber washers, but more of a hardness like the Schwinn-built caliper washers. With a drop of oil, they work nicely.