Butcher’s Bike story lead

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A High Street butcher is set to rekindle the time-honoured tradition of delivering meat by message bike.

Lindsay Grieve is gearing up to offer customers a taste of yesteryear with deliveries to households around the town, and his new venture has been made possible by another local trader, Stuart Smith, of Hawick Cycles, who restored the much-admired bicycle which has sat outside Mr Grieve’s premises for several years.

“I got the bike a few years ago,” said Mr Grieve. “It had been advertised for sale in The Scotsman. The man who was selling the bike came from Edinburgh and a friend of mine, ‘Hoot’ Gibson, went to have a look at it for me. It was a typical old-fashioned message bike and I ended up buying it.

“However, the wonderful thing was that it had been in constant use as the owner rode it regularly through the streets of Edinburgh. This must have been some sight as he was 86 years old.

He was sorry to part company with the bike, but his wife felt he was getting too old. The man was delighted, though, that it was going to a good home.”

Mr Grieve continued: “I’ve used the bike for display purposes outside my shop and it draws a lot of attention.

“For whatever the reason, I came up with the idea of doing it up again for deliveries.

“It needed a lot of doing up but Stuart Smith from Hawick Cycles has made an excellent job of it and the bike is set to go again.”

Adding with a smile, Mr Grieve said: “The deliveries that we will be making to customers will be on pretty level roads, though. I don’t think we’ll be going up the Loan although it would be great coming down!”

Bike restorer Mr Smith commented: “Lindsay asked me if I could get the bike back in working order and I’ve done this. You don’t see many of these bikes going about nowadays. They’re real eye-catchers and bring about memories for a lot of people. The bike is very traditional and it fits in with Lindsay’s shop as it is also very traditional.

“I’ve tried the bike out on the High Street and turned a few heads in the process. It’s nice to have something like this reconstructed.”