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Flooding clean-up reveals Shrewsbury clearance shop's hidden past

By Dominic Robertson | Shrewsbury | Business | Published:

Shrewsbury's devastating flooding has left businesses facing a marathon clean-up operation but it has also led to an unusual discovery at one antique shop.

Brian Taylor with the secret compartment filled with motorcycle parts he found in his shop while clearing up after the floods

Brian Taylor, owner of The House Clearance Emporium in Coleham Head, saw his business ravaged by the flooding, which he described as "pretty horrific".

As river levels have dropped over the last few days Brian has begun the long process of cleaning up, and as he lifted the carpets he found a window into the shop's past as a motorcycle store.

There below the damaged flooring was a trap door, filled with old motorcyle parts, some around a century old.

Joe Priestley on the hunt for more motorbike parts

The shop was a motorcycle store up until Brian opened the emporium six years ago.

Brian explained how they had made the discovery on the back of the terrible effect of the flooding.

He said: "It has had a massive impact. We have not been able to open for two or three weeks. We won't be open for another week at least.

The pit where the parts were found

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"We had to take up all the carpets but actually found a solid wood floor underneath which is a bit of a bonus.

"We discovered this trap door with old motorcycle bits.

He added: "The original floor was covered in plywood sheets before the carpet was put on. We could see this one floorboard where they had cut the plywood sheet around it. I thought 'that's a bit weird, I wonder if there's anything hidden under it?'

Joe Priestley holding a four-valve Rudge cylinder head

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"We had a look and there was a brick box about four feet by three feet with old motorcycle parts and bits of scrap as well."

Brian said he expected the items to be of interest, particularly given their age.

He said: "Because they are so old they have interest now and value because some of them are 100 years old or more."

Brian Taylor with a JAP crankcase

Brian said that he had been surprised at the level of flooding, given that the shop had not been hit in the previous six years it has been open.

He said: "You get lulled into a false sense of security, we had far too much stuff in the back of the shop in storage."

He added: "The front of the shop was flooded about seven inches deep, the back of the shop, which goes down two steps, we had to have waders to try and get in there and save a few things like furniture and a compressor."

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