End of an era for Falkirk cycle shop

Owner Linton Smith has put GW Smith Cycles up for sale
Owner Linton Smith has put GW Smith Cycles up for sale

One of the oldest businesses in Falkirk is up for sale.

The GW Smith Cycles store in the east end opened in 1947 when the George Murdoch electrical shop was bought by George William Smith.

Now after 69 years trading, his son and current owner Linton Smith, has decided to sell up.

Linton (64) admits he has enjoyed “every minute” of running the shop, but approaching pension age reckons now is the time to ‘hang up his spanners’.

He said: “We hope to sell the business as a going concern so the long tradition of cycle retailing can be maintained and the support to our many loyal customers continued.

“My shop manager Gordon Ferguson has been with us for 25 years, and Scott Gilbert the workshop manager for seven. Even Jim ‘the janny’ has been here for 12 years, so they all know the bike trade.

“These guys have been largely responsible for running the operational end of the business for quite a few years now so have a lot to offer any potential new owner.

“It’s been a fascinating business to be in, with new advances and developments around every corner keeping the trade right up there in terms of popularity.

“No disrespect to other retailers, but I never could get worked up about selling beans.

“There’s never been anything like the excitement of revealing next year’s ranges, the new technology going into bikes, the new products and new ideas.”

As an electrical engineer who fitted out ships in Liverpool and Rosyth during the Second World War, when Linton’s dad was demobbed he wanted to buy an electrical business.

He bought the shop in the Broadway Buildings that sold electrical goods – but always had a few bikes in stock as well – and the rest is history!

Linton said: “Back in 1947 the first bike my dad sold was a Hercules gentleman’s roadster that cost £3.19.6d.

“The shop’s turnover in the first year was £600.

“Today on the showroom we have bikes costing £2000 and more!”

While there is now an opportunity for someone else to take over GW Smith Cycles, Linton has no plans to step away completely from his family’s support of the town as a key location for shoppers.

As well as his other business interests, he intends to continue as a director of Falkirk Towns, the Business Improvement District Company.

Linton added: “While it’s been quite a big decision, I have to say the whole experience of serving the people of Falkirk has been a pleasure.”