Bike shop owner still wheeling and dealing after 60 years in the saddle at the same business

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 30 Oct 2017

As a 15-year-old school-leaver Tony Baines accepted an offer of a job from his next door neighbour, thinking it would only be short-term.

Six decades later, he is still mending punctures and repairing cycles sat his shop on Scunthorpe’s Frodingham Road.

He recalled: "I left the Doncaster Road Boys' School in Scunthorpe in 1957, expecting to be called up for National Service when I was 18, But they scrapped national conscriptions so I kept on working at the bike shop."

The shop was opened in 1951 by his former next-door neighbour and ex-RAF mechanic Don Speight.

Tony said: "We shared the same birthday so we were quite close. And when Don died in 1991 he left the business to me."


Tony Baines who celebrates his 75th birthday today along with 60 years working at D. Speight cycle shop

As well as 60 years in the same job, father of two Tony celebrates his 75th birthday today (Sunday, October 29).

He had planned to retire this year to mark his Golden Wedding anniversary.

But his wife Anne died last year aged 69, causing him to rethink his plans.

He said: "I’ve no plans for retirement yet. I’ll carry on as a long as I am fit to do so."

During his 60 years, Tony recalled the times when Scunthorpe was choc-a-bloc with bikes as steelworkers rode to and from shifts.

He said: "At 4pm you could not get across Frodingham Road for cyclists. They were riding four abreast."

Most of the 2017 generation of steelworkers do not have to bike to work, but the D Speight shop remains as busy as ever.

A lot of Tony’s work comes with mending punctures at £8.50 a time and ironically, he blames litter louts for keeping him busy.

He explained: "People just throw away bottles these days and as a result the roads are strewn with broken glass.

"It was much better when there was a refundable deposit on bottles and people took them back to the shops."

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