Craddock Brothers Ltd

Craddock Brothers was formed by Northampton born brothers Stephen Craddock (1853-1925) and George Craddock the Elder (1834 – 1890), and his son George Craddock the Younger (1855-1928). After serving his apprenticeship, Stephen went into partnership with his older brother in about 1875 and together with George the Younger, they developed Craddock Brothers Boot & Shoe Works. It is likely they began in retail premises purchased in Snow Hill from 1876 and Victoria Street from 1880, Wolverhampton with manufacturing taking place in the rear of the shops. A factory was later started in Powlett Street to increase output to satisfy demand and this was also the location of the warehouse and offices until 1974. The manufacture of footwear was terminated in 1929 as with an output of 4,000 pairs a week it had proved uneconomical. By 1888 in addition to the two Wolverhampton shops, the company had shops in the Staffordshire towns of Burslem, Burton-on-Trent, Hanley, Longton, Newcastle, Tunstall, Walsall, Wednesbury and Willenhall.

The Wednesbury shop was taken over by George the Elder, brother of Stephen, in 1888 when he retired from the company and by 1892 the shop was being run by his son William. The partnership continued with Stephen Craddock and George the Younger, son of George the Elder at their shops at Wolverhampton, Walsall, Willenhall, Hanley, Longton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Burslem, Tunstall, Burton-on-Trent, Crewe and Wigan. Craddock Brothers Limited was incorporated on 24 March 1899 and George Henry Craddock became a Director. Craddock Brothers continued to operate as a family business until 1964.

In 1964 Craddock Brothers Limited was acquired by Clarks as part of the programme to purchase independent multiples to safeguard their access to the market against unbranded retailers. When bought by Clarks for over £1,000,000, Craddock Brothers Limited comprised at least 24 shops and had a turnover in excess of £1 million. The business became an integral part of Clarks and the headquarters were transferred from Wolverhampton to Somerset in 1974 when Clarks put Craddock Brothers Limited into voluntary liquidation. At this point the remaining Craddocks branches seem to have closed rather than changed to Clarks stores.

Craddock Brothers Directors:
George Craddock the Elder (founding director)
Stephen Craddock (founding director)
George Craddock the Younger (founding director and son of George the Elder)
Stephen Arthur Craddock (son of Stephen)
George Henry Craddock (son of George the Younger)
Kenneth G Craddock (son of George Henry)
Albert Craddock (son of George the Younger)
Colin Victor Craddock (son of Albert)
Mrs Mary Forbes England (daughter of Stephen Arthur)
Gordon Mons Higginson (principle buyer of ladies shoes)

Retail Branches:
Wolverhampton – 5-6 Snow Hill (1876), 22 Queen Square (1892), 27 Victoria Street (1880)
Wednesbury – 11 Market Place (1880)
Walsall – The Bridge (1884)
Wigan – 13 Market Place (1888)
Burton-on-Trent – 30 High Street (1888)
St Helens – 35 Church Street
Newcastle-under-Lyme – 25 High Street (1880)
Stoke-on-Trent – 54 Church Street (1892)
Burslem – 49 Market Place (1888)
Hanley – 4 Market Street (1884)
Crewe – 35 High Street (1888)
Longton – 44 Market Street (1888)
Kidderminster – 2 High Street
Nottingham – 22 Long Row
Market Drayton – 5 Cheshire Street
Wellington – 11 New Street
Stourbridge – 48 High Street
Bromsgrove – 31 High Street
Rochdale – 72-74 Yorkshire Street
Stratford – 10 Bridge Street
Chester – 30 Eastgate Row South
Nottingham – 21 Long Row
Tunstall (1888)
Willenhall (1888)
Fenton (1900)

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Responses

  1. Hello. I have just come across this website and I am hoping that someone may be able to help me.
    I am interested in the Craddock Brothers ltd, and reading the above notes I see that they had a shop in Market Drayton. My 4xgrt Grandfather also had a shoemaking business in Market Drayton, the exact same address.
    So I am trying to work out if there is a connection to him, Samuel Craddock ,and the Craddock Brothers ltd.
    I would be interested in any information that someone could give me or any pointers to where I could take my research further.
    Thank you
    Clare

  2. Hi Clare,
    Thank you for getting in touch. We do have more information on the Craddock Brothers and their shoemaking business and some research into the Craddock family. If you would like to email me directly at kimberley.benoy@wolverhampton.gov.uk with any information you have about Samuel Craddock we can see if he fits into our research.
    I hope this is helpful.
    Kimberley

    • Hello Kimberley
      Like Clare, I have just come across this web-site. I am the grand-daughter of Albert Craddock, and the daughter of Colin Victor Craddock. I am starting to put together a sort of family history, and would be very interested in seeing what is held on Craddock Bros, helping where I can, and contributing what little knowledge I have on the Craddock family business.
      Good luck with your project
      Best wishes
      Maggie

      • Hello Maggie
        I’m pleased you have found the blog and are interested in finding out more information! I would be very interested to find out more about Craddock Brothers family business and to help you with your research. I will email you with some information on the research we have done so far.
        Kind regards
        Kimberley

  3. Hello,
    My name is Peter England,and I am the adopted son of Mary Forbes England nee Craddock …..1905 to 1986 My Grandfather was Stephen Arthur Craddock and his father, my Great Grandfather was Stephen Alderman Craddock. I remember Uncle George, and also Keneth and Colin but not very well I’m afraid .My memories, it seems ,are from the other side of the family to your own, and would be of interest. to you. Photographs,newspaper cuttings marriage certificates etc. Plus plenty of ” tales “.
    Just off on holiday, and although in the UK at present the info is in France where I reside.
    Please send me your contact details after the 7th of March and I shall be very happy to help. pengland6@compuserve.com
    Keep in touch Peter England

  4. Hello Peter, I do not think we ever met but I am Nicholas Craddock, eldest son of Kenneth and cousin of your mother whom we knew as Auntie Maisie.
    Father used to visit Auntie Sis your grandmother in her house in Tettenhall (we children used to wait outside in the car) on Saturday mornings. I remember she had a formidable gardener called Pickford and two very elderly maids who were allowed no “followers”!
    Do you have any children living in the UK?

    • Hello Nicholas,
      Please get in touch with me. I have lots of cuttings and information that would interest everyone. I live in France most of the time and the cuttings are all over there whilst my wife and I are here in the UK for the winter months. I usually visit Wolverhampton in January and stay at the Mount Hotel in Tettenhall Wood. Perhaps we could meet for supper. No date as yet, but send me your contacts and we can keep in touch .pengland6@compuserve.com
      UK phone 01642 613301

  5. Hi Maggie, I haven’t seen you since you were about ten. How is John? I am imagine Jill your mum must have passed away by now

    Nicholas Craddock
    Kenneth Craddock’s son

  6. […] shoe trade. An article in the Express & Star on 24 February 1916 confirmed that he worked for Craddock Brothers Boot and Shoe Works from 1910 […]

  7. Hello
    I’m Rebecca Smillie (nee Craddock) Granddaughter of Kenneth Craddock. I was born in 1971 a year after Kenneth’s death. As a young man my father worked for Craddocks and later for Clarks in Street and Plymouth where I was born.
    Hope that helps.
    Rebecca
    Rebecca


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