Rosario Vacca, left, and Tim Lloyd-Skinner. Credit: Matt Grayson

Rosario Vacca, left, and Tim Lloyd-Skinner. Credit: Matt Grayson

“I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was when one of my flatmates came downstairs on a Saturday morning really hungover and trod on a piece of cable we’d left out,” said Tim Lloyd-Skinner.

“That was when they said, ‘You’ve got to find yourself a place to go’.”

The co-founder of East Bikes London is sat on a sofa in his Wapping studio, bikes hung on walls and parked in neat rows on the floor.

The cycle shop, which specialises in vintage bikes, has called Pennington Street its home for the last four years, after making the move from its former, makeshift bedroom premises.

Originally a hobby project with Hull University friend Stuart Powell, Tim’s business has grown unrecognisably from its humble beginnings.

After both moving to London post-graduation and setting up camp in a flat share in Shadwell, a need for cash was the initial impetus.

“Stu was looking to change his career at the time,” said 30-year-old Stroud Green resident Tim.

“He was working in a bar and wanted to get into TV production so he had to go and do an unpaid internship for four or five months.

“Consequently, he needed to make some money on the side.

“Before Stu went to uni he’d taken a year out and worked in Halfords fixing bikes so he knew everything about it.

“He just started by buying projects – one cheap bike at a time from Ebay – and fixed them in his bedroom.

“Every time he’d sell a bike, he’d put aside £10 to buy a new tool so the tool collection got bigger.

“On a nice sunny day I’d be outside and chatting with him, he’d be fixing a bike and I might be putting a tyre on or something like that and it grew from there.”