It's getting to the point where I'm not sure it matters any more - my curiosity has been answered. However, if you do a Google search for Dawes Ranger 1983 you get nothing - images or web. If you change it to 1984 they all pop up.
One thing that did pop up is this from Graham John Wallace (there's more good info from him and Stanny on the other thread too):http://www.mtnbikehalloffame.com/page.cfm?pageid=13665
It gives 1984 for Saracen/Evans and seems to put Dawes into the same bracket.
So I while I wasn't there and am happy to be put right (I am, after all, just trying to get to the bottom of it), everything seems to be pointing towards:
82 or earlier for Saracen and other one-offs.
83 for Ridgeback (not British made - least significant of the lot, which is probably why it's relatively un-noted, which, in turn, is why I became curious)
84 for Saracen/Evans (a new company making small
84 for Dawes (the first of the big companies with a British-made mtb)
There are two schools of thought on the Cleland - the 'different lineage' one - so Cleland was separate; and the 'they're all 'bikes for taking off-road' so Cleland was first (here)'.
I prefer the 'lineage' one. The dates aren't in question and if anything it makes the Cleland more special, rather than just lumping it in with all the rest. But that's about semantics, not bikes.