Penny-farthings unlikely to be part of business

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The future of the famous penny-farthing bicycles is in doubt after the new tenants of David Wilson’s shop in the Victorian Precinct say it is unlikely they will have the bicycles available to the public.

“It’s just something we don’t do much with and it’s unlikely we will so we doubt they will be seen at our shop,” Vertical Adventures director Rob Connolly said.

While Mr Connolly hadn’t talked to the Oamaru Ordinary Club, who were based there when Mr Wilson opened the store, he said he was open to discussion.

“I haven’t met with anyone yet, but I am open to chatting with David about the club if they want to continue to be based there and see what we can work out.”

Mr Connolly and Headfirst Travel manager Ralph Davies took up the lease of the shop formerly run by David Wilson in order to operate from a central location.

“We just see it as a fantastic base to have a shop. With Ralph and myself involved with tours, we thought it would be a great place to start.”

Mr Connolly said the shop would not be open from 9am – 5pm as the Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust favoured.

“We made it clear to them that we definitely won’t open at 9am and be staying open until 5pm each day, and if we eventually do, it will be some time into the future.”

Mr Davies said he would park his bus out the front of the store.

“I’d be silly not to. There is just so much on offer down that way, the penguins, the Friendly Bay playground which has re-ignited passion for that area of town, the Farmers’ Market, the brewery, and the cafes and old shops just provide so much opportunity.”

Both men said they were confident they would be able to attract business.

“We know we can make it work and will look at maybe offering tours from the shop up to Duntroon to the Alps 2 Ocean and they will finish outside the shop where the vehicles are parked,” Mr Davies said.

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY