In a spasm of Christmas Spirit, my young protege and I sent the now-his wounded Mercian back to the factory for a re-do. I bought this bike used for $300 in 1977.
Shipping a bike across the pond these days is not a trivial exercise.
They do some cool stuff.
It will have been cheaper to replace it with a modern bike, but steel is now cool in the bike world and now he loves it too.
Fingers crossed this ends well. Stay tuned. Merry Christmas.