THEY have been ever-present in Coulsdon town centre for 40 years and now the Doble family have been immortalised after a street was named after them.
Mick Doble opened his motorcycle dealership in Brighton Road in 1974, and has seen the business grow beyond all expectations since expanding across the road.
When the town's bypass was opened in 2007 it cut through Windermere Road, leaving a small street with the same name, sparking fears that emergency services, postmen and sat-nav users might be left confused.
On Tuesday, Croydon mayor Manju Shahul-Hameed cut a ribbon to officially open the renamed street, called 'Dobles Close' after Mario Creatura, a Coulsdon West councillor, suggested the name.
Mick was "very proud" his family name would be on the Coulsdon map forever.
"I think it's fantastic. I'm really pleased they've done it. The fact it'll always have the name Doble is a great honour," he said.
Mick bought the building in Brighton Road for just £19,000 when he set up the business with his friend Peter Watson, having worked as a panel beater when he left school.
Now 40 years later, his whole family is involved, with son Mike, and grandsons Lewis and James, among the many mucking in. The business today employs some 60 people.
"After opening the shop in Brighton Road it just took off from there, pretty much all of the family have been involved at some point," he said.
Mick, who turned 75 this year, has no plans to call it a day himself just yet.
"What's retirement? I'd prefer to be here, I wouldn't know what to do otherwise. I've worked all my life," he said.
The business he has helped to build now sprawls across three shop units in Brighton Road with an additional showroom opposite, and a new service centre in Dobles Close is set to open in the near future.
Cllr Creatura, who worked with council officers to get the street renamed, said: "It needed a new name because heaven forbid if someone had an accident here, the emergency services would have found it difficult to find.
"I thought it would be a nice idea to change the name to reflect something local and these guys [the Doble family] certainly seemed worthy."
An apostrophe catastrophe? THOUGH the renaming of Dobles Close was celebrated by many, some were quick to point out a slight grammatical gaffe on the new sign. Residents said that the sign either needed a possessive apostrophe "Doble's" or should simply be named the singular Doble Close. Charles King, chairman of East Coulsdon Residents' Association, said he fully supported the move to honour the Doble family but added: "I don't claim to be the biggest pedant in the world but if they're going to name it, they ought to get it right. "It either needs to be called Doble's Close, or Doble close." Peter Appleford, from Coulsdon West Residents' Association, said: "It did need a new name as it was misleading while still called Windermere Road. I don't disagree with the change of name, that's quite nice, it's just the grammar." It is understood the error was a result of the apostrophe being left off the forms completed when the council named the street. A new sign would cost about £200 to manufacture, though there are no plans to replace it at the moment.