Supplied by Mark Taylor, Whitehaven

Supplied by Mark Taylor, Whitehaven, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

When my parents visited last week they brought me a pair of bikes to rescue. One of them was an old Raleigh ladies bike. Two details dated the bike to some time in the eighties at the latest. One was the proud proclamation that the ride had been designed and handbuilt in Nottingham. The other is more parochial. This sticker, near the bottom bracket, announces the shop it was purchased from.

Mark Taylor had shops in Workington and Whitehaven which were treasure troves to a younger me. As well as bikes they had a great toy section which stocked a wonderful array of models (I had yet to discover that there were such things as model shops.)

Mark Taylor closed some time in the eighties or nineties, possibly because I was no longer there to keep it open through the power of my window-shopping and "One day I’ll have that."

(Whilst Googling around about this I discovered that Mark Taylor continued as a bike shop and hire centre and may still be going. The toy shop is definitely no more though.)