I’ve been reminded by George Lay (in a comment on ‘Charny Shops in the 1950s’), that there were at least two cycle shops in the Charnwood Street area – Billy Bone’s on the corner of Mere Road and Occupation Road, and H. C. Vine’s at 212 Charnwood Street. George writes that Billy himself had a shop on Melbourne Road near the cinema that recharged accumulators for wirelesses, and it was his son Reg Bones who ran the cycle shop. Rowland Lord remembers him as a small man always in overalls, always covered in oil and grease – and always very helpful. The shop was ‘a favourite of mine’, Jill Richardson recalls, ‘as I was in a cycle club from the age of 13, and the two fellows there were so helpful’. When Charnwood Street was demolished, Bone’s moved to Green Lane Road, into what used to be Hill’s grocer’s shop (Leicester Mercury, 31 January 2011).
Mr Vine was an agent for Whitworth bicycles, and Patricia Kirby is just one of many people who remember getting their first cycle from him – a Rudge, in her case. His granddaughter Carole Mobbs, used to have ‘a super new bike every other year’, but ‘my grandfather didn’t give us the bikes, he was too astute a businessmen for that, and he charged my father the retail price!’. Before setting up his cycle shops – he had three in Leicester and three in the West Midlands at one point – he had served in No 6 Squadron Royal Air Force in Mesopotamia (Leicester Mercury, 7 March 2011).
And does anyone remember another cycle shop in Charnwood Street – maybe Thomas’s – whose owner also moved to Green Lane Road when the street was demolished?