Ken Hallworth (1942-2016)

As Ken and Irene Hallworth launched Old Bike Mart (OBM) in 1985 they could never have dreamt its future profound significance.

Ken Hallworth at the completion of his epic round the coast ride, in 1984. Marjorie Cottle stands alongside him, with Jane Baxter doing the presentation, Jim Baxter on the left. Note Titch Allen behind.

As long-standing old bike enthusiasts, they spotted a large publishing market gap and their formula of lots of private classifieds, trade adverts, editorial, events diary and more hit the spot.

Initial promotion was by distributing copies via shows, clubs and other events on the surmise some would like what they’d read and subscribe to cover distribution costs, while advertising revenue funded publishing. From a skinny newspaper, OBM grew and grew until it stretched the small team.

Ken had enjoyed a lifelong passion for motorcycles, from history to restoration, before making them his career. After secondary school he worked in engineering, then as a draughtsman, salesman and into professional motorcycle restoration, often undertaking long night school courses as part of his training.

Read more in March’s issue of TCM – out now!

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