New workshop for Swansea scooter firm

On the road: from left Lee Wyndham Swansea Council, Andrea Rogerson-Hewett UK Steel Enterprise and Dave Payne On Small Wheels. Photo: Nick Treharne

Restoring scooters to their former glory is Dave Payne’s mission in life.

And as the recent revival of interest in the small wheelers continues, his business is on an upward path.

With a new, larger premises, the former Swansea Mod uses his skills and experience to put life back into the old machines and keep the classic bikes on the road.

The labour of love is performed at his new workshop in Morriston, where On Small Wheels now also has a parts shop, and a thriving trade on the internet.

Indeed, things are going so well that he is sending parts around the world and looking to expand this side of the business.

“We have enquiries from all over the world – the US, Brazil and other countries,” he said.

On Small Wheels received a £500 Business Start Up Grant to assist the move to the new premises.

“It was very useful to have this support,” said Dave. “It went towards setting up the shop downstairs, which we didn’t have in the old place.”

The Business Start Up Grant is administered jointly by Tata Steel subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise and Swansea City Council.

Andrea Rogerson-Hewett of UK Steel Enterprise, said: “It is great to see the business thriving and keeping this expertise alive in Swansea. We are very glad to have been able to help in the move to the new premises.”

Lee Wyndham, Economic Development Officer at Swansea Council, said: ”I am delighted to see that Swansea Council and UK Steel Enterprise have been able to provide assistance to another new independent business in Swansea.

“We wish David every success and look forward to seeing how the business continues to progress in the future.”

Many think that scooters are an Italian invention with the iconic Vespa and Lambretta badges. But other countries have also produced their own, notably Germany with its Zundapp and Messerschmitt machines.

Dave’s knowledge and reputation mean he receives a huge range of enquires from people who want restoration jobs, repairs or simply want to get hold of the right parts. “There is a huge heritage in scooters going back many years, and many brands and models,” added Dave.

In Britain the scooter scene is thriving, with events up and down the country. And it’s not just the ex-mods taking part – many younger people are finding the scooter a great deal of fun too.

“It’s not just a brilliant form of transport, but a way of life to many people and we are here to help them,” he added.