Motorbiking business celebrates jubilee

CELEBRATIONS have been held to mark the Golden Jubilee of a motorcycle business which has been a real family affair for the last 50 years.Davey Bros Motorcycles was originally opened by brothers Peter and Brian Davey in 1959.

CELEBRATIONS have been held to mark the Golden Jubilee of a motorcycle business which has been a real family affair for the last 50 years.

Davey Bros Motorcycles was originally opened by brothers Peter and Brian Davey in 1959.

It is now run by Peter's son, Paul Davey, whose son James also recently joined the business based in Alan Road, Ipswich.

The anniversary has been marked with an evening reception at Ipswich Transport Museum for customers, friends and colleagues from the trade, as well as an open day at the shop.

Around 75 customers old and new came to the shop where they enjoyed a display of early Honda motorcycles and tucked into tea and cake.

Long term employees Robert Stubbs and Reuben Eden, with a combined work record of 83 years, were also at the open day, along with Peter Davey, 78.

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Paul Davey, 53, said his father had been at foreman at Boltons in Ipswich but by 1959 wanted to branch out and joined his brother in starting the business.

It began in Bramford Road before moving in 1961 to its current premises in Alan Road which have recently been refurbished.

Paul said: “They did repairs to start with, then sold a few second-hand bikes and then dad spotted Hondas.

“He was impressed with the engine and then in 1961 Honda started its own company in this country so he approached them and became one of the first dealers in the UK.”

The family also owned a motorcycle showroom in Orwell Road from 1964 until 1991 and at one time also ran a car garage before it shut in 1998.

Paul said the industry had seen huge changes during its 50-year tenure and that the business had to be adaptable to survive.

He said: “The motorcycle business contracted quite sharply during the 1980s, some went out of business and some got smaller - we got smaller.

“They were quite dramatic times.

“Sales in the late 1970s and early 1980s were about 300,000 bikes sold in the UK a year - that went down to 30,000 by 1990.

“There was also quite a bad recession in the 1960s but we have got through all the hard times, which is the story of any business which has been around for a long time.”

Paul added that the most important thing was to be ready to change with the times, adding: “You have got to be very adaptable and keep looking for opportunities that are out there and be prepared to change.

“You can't stand still at all - I think that is the secret, you have to really be prepared to adapt and spot the opportunities that the market throws up.

“But most importantly of all, serve the customers to the best of your ability at all times. You have got to look after your customers.”

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