Over the 50+ years we’ve been in business there have been many other dealerships local to us to come and go. However, unlike other industries the motorcycle game is a close-knit industry and although we were in competition we knew most of the other dealers and owners personally so it’s always a shame when another one goes.
Some have moved, some have changed manufacturer and some have gone altogether. The ones that have gone are still remembered by some of their older customers who we still see through our doors on a regular basis. In fact there are also many stories told by the staff and family here at John’s of Romford especially around Eddy Grimsteads and Len Wade as Honda bike dealers.
“Grimsteads was the first Honda dealer in the UK… in business since 1908, originally as cycle shop in the East End. It had represented 25 car and motorbike manufacturers.”
Some dealers we knew better than others. Len Wades Honda in Dagenham opened it’s doors in partnership with “John” of Romford, so we actually had a strong relationship which started when the two companies operated in the non-motorised two wheel business. Unfortunately Len had to sell up in the 1990’s through ill health. The workshop remained for a few years, but we’re sad to say is also no longer in operation.
Another Honda motorcycle dealer in Romford that has since closed and moved is Kenistons. Originally owned by two brothers it used to operate out of Victoria Road near Romford station and closed it’s doors in Romford around 2007. The current owner Bill moved his whole business further into Essex and eventually became a Suzuki dealer (like us) in 2014. They are still going strong!
For us where we sell Honda (who are the market leaders) we deliver many scooters in the surrounding area. Steads scooters had been established for 28 years when they closed down. They were situated just round the corner from the original Kenistons site in South street by Romford station. They sold a number of manufacturer bikes and scooters from Keeway, Gilera, Vespa, Sim to Hyosung. They closed their doors in February 2017.
All of these companies proudly served their loyal customers but sadly are now only a footnote in the rich local legacy for the biking community of Romford and Essex. If we can help with any queries regarding the dealerships or manufacturers listed please call us on 01708 746293 or 01708 754775 we’d be happy to help where we can.