Well, it’s the end of an era. Phil and Brenda Roe, of popular bicycle shop Urban Bikes UK, are to retire after 13 years in the market.
Phil is one of the market’s most colourful characters and he’ll be hanging up his apron after a career in the bicycle industry that spans 50 years.
The former second category road racing cyclist and champion has built up a large following of customers to the popular bicycle sales and repair shop where he has also regaled customers with entertaining stories and anecdotes, all told with his dry, Yorkshire sense of humour.
From a family of cycling enthusiasts and racing champions, Phil took up competitive road racing at the age of 13 and continued for over 25 years. His career in the bicycle industry began in 1974 at Ken Ellerker Cycles in his native Hull.
Here he learned his trade before moving onto the Coventry Eagle Cycle & Motor Company works, then based in Newtown, Powys, followed by St John’s Street Cycles in Somerset.
Phil set up his own bicycle shop, firstly in Newtown, before moving back to Brenda’s native Shropshire and setting up the stall in our market hall.
Here they have sold all types of bikes, but were particularly well known for selling ladies’ Dutch bikes, becoming the sole UK supplier for Dutch bike company Popal.
“People came from as far as Edinburgh and all over the place to buy these bikes,” said Phil.
He also set up a bicycle hire service from the shop where tourists would set off armed with maps of cycle sight-seeing tours of Shrewsbury.
Phil coached scores of young riders over the years. He was heavily involved in Cycle Shrewsbury where he taught basic bicycle mechanics to young people and organised family invitation rides, raising thousands of pounds for charity.
“We will miss the market where we have made friends with lots of good people,” said Phil.
Market Facilities Manager Kate Gittins said: “Phil and Brenda will be greatly missed. We join together in wishing them a long and happy retirement.”
The couple plan an active retirement, spending more time tending their allotment, travelling and sight-seeing.