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Well-known parts, accessories and apparel retailer Everything But Bikes (EBB), based in Chester, has closed down. Established by leading race star and eight-times TT winner Charlie Williams, this store first opened its doors in November 1980 — just a few months after the founder’s final pair of TT victories.

EBB was very much a pioneer of the move towards destination aftermarket specialists, later dominated by chains like Hein Gericke at its zenith. Williams packed in racing to concentrate on the enterprise in 1984. He subsequently achieving significant growth and a reputation for excellent stock and service, eventually relocating to larger premises nearby featuring a while-you-wait tyre fitment bay and much bigger showroom.

With almost 20 years of minding the shop under his belt, Williams explained his succesful ethos in a 1997 interview: “I had no retail training, but if you try to imagine it’s you on the other side of the counter, you won’t go far wrong.”

Sadly, like so many similar outlets, EBB has now become a victim of the online shopping bonanza. Commenting on its demise, Williams said: “I retired five years ago and my manager Gary, who had joined me in March 1981, took over with a business partner. But unfortunately things have got a lot tougher and they have now ceased trading. Understandably, they are devastated.”