Ipswich motorcycle shop closure ends 100-year association with street

Mr Peck's shop
Image caption Mr Peck said he had been running down stock in the run-up to closing up shop at close of play on Saturday

A family of independent shopkeepers is ending its association with one street after more than 100 years.

Robert Peck, 66, owner of Ipswich Motorcycle Accessories, is closing his shop in Upper Orwell Street this weekend.

He has been in business for 40 years, but his grandmother and father ran a different shop in the same street which opened in 1908 and closed in 1990.

Mr Peck said he was retiring and would miss his customers.

He said he became interested in motorcycles when he was 16 years old, and he had worked since leaving school at the same age.

Image caption Mr Peck's store is on the eastern edge of Ipswich town centre, near the former Odeon cinema at the end of Upper Orwell Street

"It was my hobby and it's nice to work on something you love," he said.

"When I first started there were an awful lot of youngsters on bikes. You used to get young people a lot more. People were more likely to use motorcycles to get to work.

"They are not coming into the shop as much. Now we get more older people who have come back to bikes."

Family businesses

Image copyright Contributed by Robert Peck
Image caption Mabel Peck's was just beyond the second store from the right with a canopy down. Robert Peck said this photo is "pre-1963" but of unknown origin
  • Robert Peck's grandmother opened a store called Mabel Peck's, a few doors up from his shop, in 1908 selling second-hand clothes
  • His father Dennis Peck took it over in 1951 and gradually it began to sell work/industrial clothing
  • It closed in 1990, so there was a 10-year overlap when father and son had shops in the same street - Robert having opened the Ipswich Motorcycle Accessories shop in 1980

Mr Peck said the shop had "lots of people who are regular customers. They have said they are really sorry to see us go. No-one in town does exactly as I do at a mid-price range".

"I will miss the customers. Some have been coming in since I started," he added.

He said he had decided to retire and had not tried to sell the shop as going concern.

"I wanted to do my own thing. I'm really looking forward to it," he said.

Mr Peck is planning to attend this year's Isle of Man TT motorcycle races and will remain involved in the Triangle Motorcycle Club in Ipswich, which he joined 48 years ago.

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