A business created by a South Tyneside mechanic who died in a tragic motorbike accident is set to become his lasting legacy.
Family and friends of Lee Gibson have pulled together to create a consortium to take over the running of LG MOT, in Boldon Colliery.
The garage had been a dream come true for the 30-year-old, who had a passion for motors which followed him from childhood into adulthood.
The father-of-one, from Ullswater Avenue, Jarrow, died on his way to the Isle of Man TT race meeting, last month, after a freak gust of wind caught him as he rode his bike along the A66 in Cumbria.
Now, the garage he built from scratch will be run by his father Alan Gibson, his friend Mark Dalby and his partner Elaine Rea’s stepfather Trevor Rutherford.
As well as helping to keep Lee’s memory alive, it will also provide an income for his partner of 14-years Elaine and their son Smith as well as keep his team in employment.
We either did it or we closed the business downTrevor Rutherford
Trevor said: “Our options were very limited. We either did it or we closed the business down resulting in an uncertain future for Elaine and Smith and the loss of jobs for Lee’s team of Steve, Khyran, James and Jamie.
“It’s not what Lee would have wanted.
“Lee worked long and hard hours to build the business, his idea and dream of it becoming a successful garage with a respectful reputation will remain.”
The new team are doing what they know best – Alan is working on the customer service side of the garage, Mark Dalby is now head mechanic and Trevor is looking after the administration.
As the business grows, they hope to be able to employ more people to ensure that it remains a success.
Apart from the business, one of Lee’s passions was the Subaru Impreza car that he built up from scratch and featured in a specialist magazine.
His dad Alan said: “Lee loved that car and put so much effort into making it the best that he could.”
“Mark, Trevor and I are going to do the same for his business and make him and his family proud.”
Khyran Finnerty, from Jarrow who started with Lee as an apprentice mechanic, said: “It’s amazing what the family and friends are doing, Alan has come out of retirement and Trevor is already running a successful business. We’re all focused on it being business as usual for our customers and I’m sure Lee would be very proud of us all.”