Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

SCOOTER SUITS; They Are Cheap to Run, Breeze Past Queues and Don't Pay the Congestion Charge. Nick Curtis Reports on the London Businesses Abandoning Four Wheels for Two

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

SCOOTER SUITS; They Are Cheap to Run, Breeze Past Queues and Don't Pay the Congestion Charge. Nick Curtis Reports on the London Businesses Abandoning Four Wheels for Two

Article excerpt

Byline: Nick Curtis

CHARLIE Collingwood has the impeccable manners, deft hands and immaculate dress sense you expect from a top London tailor. The big difference between Charlie and other schmuttermerchants is that you don't have to slog back and forth to Savile Row or Soho to be kitted out in one of his bespoke Henry Herbert suits. Charlie will measure, fit and deliver the suit at your convenience and at your home and office, and he can do this because he runs his business from the back of a scooter.

"It's a novel, first-of-its kind service," explains Collingwood, 30. "It's flexible and convenient for my customers, and because I don't have the expense of central London retail premises, I can keep costs down." His handmade suits -- "made in England with British materials" -- start from a competitive [pounds sterling]495, overcoats from [pounds sterling]895. What's more, his fleet of four branded scooters -- not to mention the fact that he always wears one of his own, dapper suits in the saddle -- is an excellent advert for the business. Collingwood, along with a host of London businesses including handymen, estate agents and The Berkeley hotel's patisserie service, has realised that the scooter offers the ultimate in speed, economy and efficiency. Two wheels good, four wheels bad.

The trailblazer for this trend was "patrician electrician" Lord ( James) Irwin, the son of the Earl of Halifax. Irwin set up the Handy Squad with two odd-job men and two 125cc Honda bikes and now has a fleet of 20. "I wanted to run my own business," says the 32-year-old former investment banker, "and I thought there was a niche market for odd jobs that could be done by a single handyman on a bike carrying a small tool kit and [decorating] materials." The bikes have now been modified to carry a small stepladder, too. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.