Jessie still lending years of experience
At the age of 80 many would expect to have ditched the day job long ago and be settled into retirement.
Jessie Hailstone is not among them. The 80-year-old is still stepping in to help out on a regular basis at Mick’s Cycles in Bury St Edmunds - the shop she set up with her husband 46 years ago.
“I come in when I’m needed, to cover holidays and a few shifts,” said Mrs Hailstone.
“I used to be in everyday, but I have cut back.”
It was 1970 when the business, then called Mick’s Mopeds, first opened in Victoria Street. As the name suggests the shop specialised in mopeds, but now concentrates on bicycles and accessories and has moved to St John’s Street, where it has been based for 20 years.
“I have seen a lot of changes,” said Mrs Hailstone.
“I remember when we had the workshop in Victoria Street and the doors were wide open all day. It was freezing.
“We moved away from mopeds as the popularity of bikes grew and a lot of that was down to the Tour de France. We must be doing something right as we are still here.”
The shop is very much a family business, with Mrs Hailstone son, Derrick, and wife, Jo, also running it along with granddaughter Chloe.
“It is amazing that she is still working here and she has so much experience and knows a lot about the different bike specs and even using the computer,” said Chloe, 21.
“So many people remember her.”
Although Mrs Hailstone said she enjoyed gardening and walking her dog she has no plans to retire.
“Sitting at home all day is no good for you,” she said. “I’ve dealt with the public all my life and need to keep active.”