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Family-owned cycle shop celebrates 90 years trading in Walsall.

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News

Walsall's cycling community has been celebrating a family-owned business which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.

Russell Cycles

Image: facebook.com/russellcycles2020

Russell Cycles was established on February 19, 1934, by Fred, who was also known by his nickname Nutty Russell. He was a top amateur racing cyclist in his day and was best remembered for his F R Russell lightweight cycle, which was launched in 1949. He passed away about 30 years ago.

The shop he founded has been in virtually the same spot in Stafford Street since its opening and it kept going during the Second World War when running a cycle shop was a reserved occupation as so many people went to work on two wheels.

His granddaughter Sue Stanton is the third generation of the family to run the enterprise and she is assisted by mechanic Bret Taylor.

She explains how customers old and young have been calling into the shop to congratulate the family for the milestone achievement. Visitors have included Walsall's mayor Councillor Chris Towe and former mayor Councillor Richard Worrall who rode his bicycle to civic events instead of using the mayoral car.

"It's been really nice getting to know my customers over the years. They are very loyal and quite a few some whose parents brought them here to get their first bikes, are now bringing their children and grandchildren. for new bikes and repairs.

"We pride ourselves on being a family orientated business and as a result we get a lot of recommendations from customers. I have no idea why my grandad was called Nutty, but my dad Gordon was also given the nickname and the shop is still known locally as Nutty Russells.”

The Russell family has seen the fashion in cycles change over the past 90 years with brands like BMX, Raleigh Chopper, mountain bikes, racers, dual suspension and with electric-powered bikes and hybrid bikes suitable for commuting to work are now all the rage.

"Apart from electric bikes which are fitted with all sorts of new technology and need diagnostic work, we can repair them all. We have seen technology of bikes develop over the years. Electric bikes are popular but are very expensive.

"The Covid pandemic was very good for biking. A lot of more people started using bicycles to get to work because they didn't want to use public transport. The first lockdown year had a hot summer. Families rediscovered the outdoors as there wasn't much else to do and got bikes.

"We are looking forward to continued success and as long as we can have customers coming in, we'll keep going," she adds.

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