Bike shop is ready to '˜blaze' back into town

A Hebden Bridge bike shop is setting the wheels in motion to relaunch next week - almost one year after it was nearly destroyed by the Boxing Day floods.

Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 7:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th December 2016, 11:22 am
Ian MacNab, Anna Leatherbarrow, Gareth Vickers and John Ainscough

Blazing Saddles has been on the town’s high street for more than 11 years, but the shop was nearly forced to permanently close following the devastation of last winter.

As well as suffering extensive damage, which ran into tens of thousands of pounds, the shop had no choice but to sell flood-damaged stock at knock-down prices.

In the face of disaster, which saw the shop hit by three feet of water, the team pulled together and were back fixing bikes within weeks of the floods. Owner John Ainscough opened a second shop in Cragg Vale to keep the business going and protect jobs.

John Ainscough

He said: “We’re thrilled to be relaunching after such a devastating year and the changes we have made mean we can offer an even better range if products and services now. At the same time, everyone here is conscious that other businesses haven’t survived the floods and that’s sad news for the whole region - not just their owners.

“More than anything, we have been blown away by the community’s generosity and loyalty here - we love it in Hebden and we’re determined to stick around.”

While there has been a huge outpouring of support from the shop’s committed staff and loyal customers, the work isn’t over just yet.

As John is now unable to secure insurance against future flooding, his plan is to invest thousands of pounds to improve the Hebden Bridge shop’s flood resilience - money which may need to be raised through fundraising activities.

John Ainscough

Despite the challenge, John says he is positive about the future - in the last year alone he has employed four new staff members. The shop also won the coveted Best Bike Shop of the Year award from Singletrack magazine and has been shortlisted for a Bike Bizindustry award.

To mark its relaunch, the shop will open late every night for the whole week up until Christmas (beginning December 19) and on December 21, will host a special evening with refreshments and discounts for shoppers.

For updates about the relaunch visit the store’s Facebook and Twitter pages.