Very few motorcycle dealers can celebrate being in business for 60 years, but this year a family-run in Cirencester is doing just that.

Peter Hammond Motorcycles based on Watermoor Road is celebrating six decades in the town made possible by hard work and enough foresight and flexibility to cope with inevitable change.

Tricia Hammond and brother Dave, now at the helm of their late father’s business, which started in 1959, have seen just about everything during their time with bikes.

She’s been with the firm for over 50 years, he’s worked there for 40.

With today’s six staff members having a total of 290 years of experience between them, there’s a huge level of knowledge to draw on.

Trish said: “Motorcycling has changed massively during our time, the biggest difference being how it’s perceived.

"It’s now seen as a leisure activity, a passion.

"Back in our early days it was considered much more as a form of transport.

"The number of bikes we sold back then was way higher than it is now.

"One year in the mid-70s, between April and September, we sold over 400 bikes; around 250 new ones, and 150 used. It was hard keeping up with demand. On Saturdays, you could hardly move in here."

Today’s market is a totally different one to that of those earlier boom years, something the Hammonds are all to aware of.

“Looking back makes you realise how much harder it is today,” says former Dakar finisher Dave.

“We’re only selling around a quarter of the bikes now, and the ratio of bigger bikes sales has become higher.

"We’re a small dealer concentrating on personal service, knowledge and experience. Our loyal customer base reflects that, with some of them still being with us after 40 years.

“Today, there are a lot less people coming through the door. They’re generally older, and more discerning with higher expectations than ever.

"Customer care matters more than ever, and we need to spend a lot of time with them getting things right."

To celebrate the occasion, the business is holding an open day on Saturday from 9am to 5pm, with guests including ex-racer Chris Moss and NGRRC champion Josh Day.

There will be free goody bags, vintage bike footage, refreshments and more.

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