Gerald in a 25 mile race in the UK - 1947
A chat on the golf course led to the idea that Gerald Turner might run his own business. He originally answered an advert in 1983, for a shop in Grand Vaux, which subsequently fell through, but this led him, to follow up another advert for a small bike business trading as “The Cycle Centre Limited”. After a chat with the owner Brian Ovenden, he’d got himself “a deal” and set up the shop, with mechanic Bruce O’Prey.
In those days the shop was opposite the Public Library at 87 Halkett Place. They decided to keep the original name, later moving to new premises at 13 La Motte Street, where there was basement storage. Roughly, 12 years ago they moved to the existing shop at 7 Anley Street and have been there ever since.
The early days at 7 Anley Street
It was at the Halkett Place, that a sales rep for a French Company “Gitane” asked Gerald if he would be interested in selling their range of bikes. Bikes for all ages were delivered direct from the factory at Machecoul, France and a container load at a time arrived, expanding their need for storage considerably. A move was needed and they moved into 13 La Motte Street, with the extra basement storage and traded from this address for a number of years.
Gerald pictured with Tony Cornic at 13 La Motte Street - 1987
The Cycle Centre has always catered for the keen enthusiast and a fair few of their customers are members of the local clubs, Caesarean Cycling Club and Velo Sport Jersey, which traditionally resulted in a rush of repairs on Saturdays in time for the “Sunday ride”, in the old days and in more recent times the road and mountain bike races.
Members of the Caesarean Cycling Club in 1951 outside St. Aubin's Parish Hall
Amanda Pilnick has been with The Cycle Centre since July 2004 and joined Gerald for a few days wondering whether this would be something she would enjoy, she signed up and has been managing the shop since then. So this really is a “family business” as Gerald and Amanda’s mother Jenny Turner do the books from home. A year later we employed Adam Wojtkiewicz, a mechanic, from Poland and a local Damian le Quesne, as the second mechanic, who are both still with the shop. Derek Willder, Amanda’s partner joined the shop about 3 years ago and we have this year employed James Ollivier, since Adam has become Assistant Manager. We have a few part time staff, who also work for from time to time, you may recognize a few faces for the picture taken of us all, outside the shop.
The current team at The Cycle Centre