Published: 12:00, 31 May 2017
A bike shop which has been serving motorists for more than 40 years has announced it will close its doors.
The Bike Shop Faversham Ltd, a specialist Yamaha dealer in The Mall, will shut in October after owner Tony Dunderdale revealed that he was retiring at the age of 72.
There has been an outpouring of sadness on social media, with hundreds of memories from over the past four decades from people all over the world being shared.
Tony and his business partner, Robin Powell, took over the building, a former undertakers, in 1974, and branded it as Robin Powell Motorcycles.
At the beginning, there was a single petrol pump at the front and when customers rang a bell, Robin and Tony would run out to serve them fuel, in between servicing and selling bikes for their loyal customers.
In 1984, the shop was renamed the Bike Shop Faversham Ltd. They began as a Honda dealer and moved to stocking both Honda and Yamaha bikes, and eventually became Yamaha only.
In 1997 the business was rocked by Robin’s death but Tony was determined to continue his legacy and did so for many years, alongside his long-standing staff Brenda, Tom and Nick.
They will shut the doors for the very last time on October 31.
Brenda Griffin, who has worked at the shop for 34 years, said: “We have so many loyal customers and there are so many memories.
“Chris Bishop was helped by the shop to get through to the British Motorsport Championships and Steve Taylor took part in a huge fundraising ride to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Trust.
“Over the years we have made many friends and would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support.”
On Facebook, many people have shared their memories and thoughts on the closure.
Tony has been described as a fantastic mechanic.
One user said: “Very sad news. Going right back to the days of Robin Powell, this is one of the best bike shops in Kent.
“Brilliant customer service from very knowledgeable and caring stuff.”
Another said: “I have had the privilege of supplying goods to you over several years and you were always a pleasure to deal with, and one of the most trustworthy companies that I supplied.
“You are a credit to our trade.”
The business remains a Yamaha dealer until closure. There is 35% off the marked price of everything in stock upstairs.
NOTE: The Bike Warehouse in Preston Street is not closing and is open for business as usual.