Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pedal power

The big reason for taking this picture was the white-on-blue enamel board. I was hoping to find the word "Madras" under the name of the business; though this one does not have that, it still made for a nice picture of old times. Though I did not realize it when I took the photo, my first cycle, a very nice Raleigh, was bought from this shop 30 years ago. And when that cycle was bought, the shop was being managed by the grandson of the founder. 

Bhogilal Davey had come to Madras from Nadiad in the early years of the 20th century, looking to make a fortune in some way. Among the many businesses he forayed into were food (he ran a restaurant), ghee sales and perfumery before he settled on bicycles. This business was started off in Bunder Street, and moved to this location on Broadway in 1936; obviously, Bhogilal-bhai had hit on to a good thing, importing Raleigh, Humber and Philips bicycles from the UK for sale here. But in 1939, within 7 years of setting up this business, he handed it over to his son. It was the son who gave it the name it still carries. He, after 40 years in the business, handed it over to Suresh Davey, who runs it currently.

Despite it being a holiday, the cycle shop still generates business. Not behind the closed doors, of course, but for the man in front of it, sitting with an old tyre and a bicycle pump!

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