Had­dens’ book will stir mem­o­ries

Wexford People - - NEWS - By CHAR­LIE KEEGAN

MANY peo­ple in Wex­ford still re­mem­ber the days when Had­dens’ name was over the premises on North Main Street which is cur­rently oc­cu­pied by Shaw & Sons.

Had­dens’ well-known fam­ily drap­ery business oc­cu­pied that spot for 128 years, hav­ing been founded by Ge­orge Had­den in 1848.

In 1858, af­ter just ten years in business, Ge­orge Had­den died, leav­ing be­hind a young widow, Frances, and four small chil­dren.

Frances kept the drap­ery business go­ing sin­gle-hand­edly for 17 years un­til 1875, when two of her sons, Wil­liam and Ge­orge, took it over. From then on, the business be­came known as W & G Had­den.

In 1906, the Had­den firm ex­panded when they ac­quired the business of Mer­rick & Rud­dell, in Dun­gar­van. Three years later they bought the business of Adam Ford, at Tul­low Street, Car­low which was man­aged by Wil­liam Had­den, while his younger brother, Ad­di­son, man­aged the Wex­ford store.

The business moved to the fourth gen­er­a­tion of the fam­ily when Wil­liam’s two sons, Vic­tor and David, joined the business in the ‘40s and ‘50s.

In 1972, David em­i­grated with his fam­ily to Canada and, shortly after­wards, Colin Had­den, (Vic­tor’s son) joined the firm, bring­ing the Had­den busi- ness into the fifth gen­er­a­tion.

In 1976 Vic­tor Had­den re­tired, through ill health, and the three stores were sold to Shaw & Sons, bring­ing an end to the Had­den con­nec­tion with the business.

Over the last five years, Vic­tor Had­den’s daugh­ter, Avril Hogan of Car­low, has re­searched and com­piled a so­cial his­tory of the business that spanned 128 years.

Avril’s book, sim­ply en­ti­tled ‘HAD­DENS - A So­cial His­tory’, runs to 287 pages and will be launched in Clay­ton Whites Ho­tel on November 14, by lo­cal his­to­rian and writer, Eithne Scallan.

A few years ago, Eithne wrote a book about the life of Dr Ge­orge Had­den, who was a brother of Wil­liam and Ad­di­son of the drap­ery business. Any for­mer staff of Had­dens who haven’t re­ceived an in­vi­ta­tion and would like to at­tend the launch should con­tact Avril by email (avril­hogan@gmail.com).

The staff of Had­dens in Wex­ford, pic­tured in 1957.

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