The founder of a nationally-known motorbike dealership in Holbeach has assured former customers that his retirement after 37 years is a happy one.
Terry Rudd (72) closed the doors on his off-road bikes, spares and clothing business, Terry Rudd Motorcycles in Fen Road, at the end of June in order to enjoy a “stress-free life” with his wife Anne (68).
What we did in deciding to retire has made 2017 a satisfying year in terms of us doing the right thing for the familyTerry Rudd, of Holbeach
But instead of regretting his decision, Terry said: “What we did has made 2017 a satisfying year in terms of us doing the right thing for the family.
“We’ve had some fantastic customers over the years and they’re very, very worried about us, thinking that we’re sad and upset about not being at the showroom any more.
“But that’s not the case at all and, in fact, we made a happy decision for all the right reasons that the family supported.”
Terry Rudd Motorcycles was the result of a passion for motorbikes that Terry had from the age of 16 which proved to be an ideal outlet for his skills as an engineer, welder and fabricator.
“My father was a despatch rider in the Home Guard but because of his agricultural background, he wasn’t allowed to go to World War II.
“Both my mother and father wouldn’t let me have a bike, instead letting me have a scooter which I fell off 11 times.
“At the time, there was a very active motorcycle club in Holbeach which had four or five solo racers and six sidecar outfits.
“One of the drivers asked me to be a sidecar passenger and I did it for two years before going on to be a driver for eight years.
“When the local Honda dealer told me he was going to retire, he said that I should start repairing motorbikes in my bike yard ready for when he stopped trading.
“Then we built our first showroom in Fen Road ourselves and became a full-on road bike and motocross franchise.
“There was never any masterplan and the business just evolved to the point where we concentrated on the off-road bike market which made us a national company.
“At one stage, we employed 12 people and people would comne from other countries because we were Honda’s top dealer for many years.
“But we couldn’t see a long-term future for a gradually declining business and we wanted a stress-free life so we chose the right time to go for our family.”
A fortnight at the world-famous Isle of Man TT motorcycle race was how Terry and Anne Rudd started their adjustment to retirement.
But far from taking life easy, the couple still have their hands full supporting sons Lee and Mark, as well as grandsons Ryan, Ashley and Kieran who have all been involved in motorsports at both regional and national levels.
Terry said: “Life hasn’t changed much for me and Anne because we still love motorsport and that carries on.
“Mark rides in the over-35s motocross, Ashley has just finished the national elite season and Kieran came second in this season’s 85cc local class at Chatteris.
“However, I also like fishing and maintaining the showroom for which we’re currently looking for a buyer, tenant or leaseholder to take on the premises.”
Anne said: “The grandchildren were going to motocross meetings when they were weeks old because it’s very much a family-based support.
“But none of them were forced to do it.
“Our other son Lee still runs his graphic design business in Fen Road so we support him with that.
“But Terry felt that he’d done his 37 years of looking after customers and it was a case of what’s best for us because nothing is forever.
”It’s like a chapter in a book that has finished and so we’re starting a new one.”