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What do we lose when we lose a local bike shop?

As UK rents rise and online retailers eat into their margins, shops struggle to survive

In the early 1930s a young William Laker would cycle the 50-odd miles from his home in Kent to Crystal Palace in south London to visit the woman who would, half a century later, become my grandmother.

There is every chance Grandpa would have popped into the small bike shop at 3&5 Central Hill in Crystal Palace. That very shop remained open for about 97 years, serving generations of cyclists, but in July the current custodian of what is now called Blue Door Bicycles, David Hibbs, announced it is to close its door for good.

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