Budding Bethnal Green bookseller’s business scuppered after thieves steal £500 tricycle

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 August 2018

Jono Forbes planned to use his tricycle as a book stall before thieves stole it. Pic: Ken Mears

Jono Forbes planned to use his tricycle as a book stall before thieves stole it. Pic: Ken Mears


A free-lance accountant with a passion for books has appealed for help replacing his three-wheeled bookshop after thieves stole it from his home.

Mr Forbes standing outside the lock up where the tricycle was stored. Pic: Ken MearsMr Forbes standing outside the lock up where the tricycle was stored. Pic: Ken Mears

Jono Forbes of Bethnal Green had planned to use the brand new black ProBike tricycle as a stall to sell little-known titles on Tower Hamlets history by local authors to encourage community spirit across the borough.

But thieves used an angle-grinder to saw through chains securing the £500 trike at the 24-year-old’s home in Bethnal Green Road.

“I’m not going to let it stop me, but I don’t have the funds to buy another,” Mr Forbes said.

That’s why the budding entrepreneur has set up a fundraising page to help buy a replacement and get the bookselling service – called Seven Books because of the number of titles on sale at any one time – on the road.

Mr Forbes's ticycle before it was stolen. Pic: JONO FORBESMr Forbes's ticycle before it was stolen. Pic: JONO FORBES

“The idea to use a tricycle came about because I wanted to do this in a sustainable way and take advantage of the awesome summer weather,” he explained.

The part-time barman at the Dove pub in Broadway Market, Hackney, only had the trike a week after cycling it home a full 10 miles from the shop in North Acton where he bought it.

The bike was still chained in a lock up shed when he returned home at midnight on Sunday after a shift behind the bar.

But by 9am when he stepped out to pick up some milk from the off licence the tricycle had gone.

“I was absolutely gutted,” Mr Forbes said. “I was going to do my first sales run next week. But I’m pretty determined not to let it stop me from doing this.

“Literature is really important, especially local stories. It’s a way of understanding the community better.”

Among the first books on sale was one about postcode gang wars. The bookworm – who said his flat full of books was like living in a bookcase – had struck sales deals with publishers and distributors.

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Police said there have been no arrests. Enquiries continue. Anyone with information should call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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