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Crowdfunder set up to save bike shop from closure after Christmas Day burglary

More than £5,000 has been raised by well-wishers after 10 bikes were stolen in Bikemaker break-in

More than £5,000 has been raised on a crowdfunding website to try and save a bike shop in Bristol from going out of business following a break-in on Christmas Day in which 10 bicycles were stolen.

Russell Clifton-Hadley, owner of Bikemaker in the city’s Old Market area, learnt of the break-in as he and his family were having their Christmas dinner.

He told BBC Points West that “Christmas was over” as soon as he learnt the news.

“You go from anger to being upset to worrying, to thinking it’s over,” he said.

The bikes and e-bikes taken belonged to customers and were not covered by insurance.

“This destroys your faith in human nature and makes you feel hopeless about things,” he added.

“It’s all the support from the community, family and friends that brings back a bit of hope.”

The shop owner’s family have set up a crowdfunder to try and save the business, with his son, Kane Clifton Hadley, telling Bristol 24/7: “As a family we have set up a GoFundMe to help get my dad back on his feet as this is a bankrupting blow to his business.

“We are hoping we can make use of the Christmas spirit, spread the word of what has happened and hopefully encourage others to help if they can.”

The crowdfunding page, which can be found here, says: “On Christmas day Russell’s bike shop in Old Market, Bristol, was broken into and he has had thousands of pounds worth of bikes and equipment stolen. Unfortunately he doesn't have insurance to cover what was taken.

“Customers’ bikes and e-bikes have been stolen that he will now be responsible for paying for. Russell works so hard for his business that he has built up over the last 13 years and is an important part of the community. This has come as a massive blow for him. I really hope we can pull together to help him rebuild his business and support his family in the meantime.”

At the time of writing, more than £5,000 of a £7,000 target has been raised, including one donation of £500 from the Newbury-based social enterprise, Green Commute Initiative.

A spokesperson for Avon & Somerset Police said: “We were called shortly after 17:00 GMT on Monday to a report that entry had been forced to a business in West Street in the St Philip’s area of Bristol.”

Officers are reviewing CCTV footage, and have requested that anyone who has information comes forward.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Rendel Harris | 4 months ago

Not a criticism but a bit of an eye-opener to find that some shops don't have insurance for customer bikes, is this common? I always assumed that the shop would have cover when one has a bike in for repair.

Good luck to Russell, hope he can stay afloat.

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