Russell's of York was a familiar name for generations.

Thousands of children and adults had fond memories of buying their bikes from the firm, either in Lawrence Street, Clifford Street, or latterly Toft Green.

But in 2000, after 96 years, the firm closed for the last time.

This is an extract from an article that appeared in the Evening Press at that time:

The cycle shop was born four years into the last century when whizz-kid Charles Sidney Russell opened a shop on Lawrence Street. He was only 18, but already possessed a wealth of two-wheeled expertise. Mr Russell became such an authority that leading bike maker Raleigh would regularly canvas his opinions.

There was nothing he did not know about the bicycle. A trained motorcycle and bicycle builder, he opened a shop in Lawrence Street selling his hand-made models. Mr Russell would use fittings from British motorcycle manufacturers BSA to create customised motorbikes.

BSAs and Nortons motorcycles were always in stock, alongside Raleigh pedal bikes.

For a brief period he was also a motor dealer. He replaced his Lawrence Street premises with a purpose-built showroom, known originally as Russell's Central Cars. Now a storage depot, the modern design was another example of Mr Russell's pioneering mind.

The large display windows and light workshops above were just the thing to promote his machines. A lift was built inside to hoist cars to the top floor.

York Press:

From here he sold the first Raleigh mopeds in the 1920s. By 1929 business was good enough to see him open a second shop in Clifford Street. This was in the famous triangular premises that now house Caffe Uno.

Russell's was a real family business. The founder's son, Sidney, became managing director and later his daughters Suzanne and Shirley joined the board.

In 1964 the firm celebrated its diamond jubilee. By this time it was one of the largest cycling shops in the country.

Among the brands on sale then were the Viking Allsize Junior (£13 8s 6d), which could carry a child from his fourth year to his ninth by means of a simple adjustment system; and the top-of-the-range Raleigh Gran Sports model with ten-speed gears (£31 9s 6d). Russell's were by now also stockists of the Moulton small-wheeled cycle.

In 1986, CS Russell (York) Ltd closed down its Lawrence Street motorcycle depot, turning it into a purely cycle business for the first time. Four years later, the firm moved out of Clifford Street to its third, and what has proved its last, premises. It opened the Toft Green shop, once Crampton's salesroom, in November 1990.