Piece of history at Sunderland bike shop

On your bikes... Martin Kinlin, Peter Darke, Shaun Rafferty and Jess Avery in Sunderland's John Street.
On your bikes... Martin Kinlin, Peter Darke, Shaun Rafferty and Jess Avery in Sunderland's John Street.
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ANTIQUE bikes went for a spin in Sunderland to celebrate a shop’s 30th anniversary.

Replicas of some of the first cycles to appear on Britain’s roads gathered at Darke Cycles in Sunderland.

The selection of historical bikes, including the famous Penny Farthing and a Macmillan – one of the first pedal bikes – were built by friend Malcolm Young from Fuwell.

Owner Peter Darke, along with former and current staff, came together to celebrate three decades in business

There was also a mini-museum in the lower levels of the shop on the corner of High Street West and John Street and customers old and new were asked to bring in mementos of cycling and the store, which has been based in locations around the city.

Former apprentice draughtsman Peter went into the bike trade aged 19, after being made redundant.

Since then, his business has been based in various locations around the city, before moving to his current home in May 2007.

Dad-of-three Peter said: “It was great to see customers from throughout the years.

“I still come to work everyday and I enjoy what I do.”

He added: “I think 30 years of coming to work and enjoying it goes a long way, whether you are making money or not making money.”

The replica bikes have gone back to craftsmen Malcolm Young, who showcases them at schools around the North East and cycle rallies.

“Generally everybody who came past and looked at them were gobsmacked,” added Peter.