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Shock closure of 150-year-old family run Cambridgeshire wines and spirits merchant

Still family run, the business was founded by John Wadsworth who was Mayor of St Ives from 1879 -1880

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A family-owned wine and spirits merchants in St Ives – founded in 1869 by John Wadsworth and still run by his descendants – is to close. J Wadsworth, based in the Broadway, St Ives, announced the closure in a post on their Facebook page last night.

“Due to increasingly tough market conditions, we have taken the incredibly difficult decision to close the shop permanently after over 150 years of trading in the town,” the family statement said.

“We would like to thank all our customers over the years for their loyal support.”

Wadsworth say they will be continuing to open on Friday and Saturdays for the foreseeable future and will be having a closing down sale starting next Friday 26th January.

“Further information will be given in due course,” the family announced.

J Wadsworth describe themselves as a “unique family run business”.

J Wadsworth, based in the Broadway, St Ives, announced the closure in a post on their Facebook page last night. PHOTO: Google

J Wadsworth, based in the Broadway, St Ives, announced the closure in a post on their Facebook page last night. PHOTO:  Family

It was founded by John Wadsworth who was Mayor of St Ives from 1879 -1880. He was a member of the first council of the Borough of St Ives from 1876 to 1885.

The independent beers, wines, spirits, and liqueurs business prides itself on its range of supplies boasting an inventory that includes that includes over 400 different malt whiskies, 36 Irish whiskeys, 100+ vodkas, 100 beers and real ales, 900 wines, 270 liqueurs and 85 ports and madeira

“Probably the largest range under one roof in the whole of East Anglia,” it says.

Founder John Wadsworth began at 1 Bridge Street ‘John Wadsworth Mineral Water Manufacturer’.
By 1879 he had expanded the business into the bigger market place of Cambridge. The new bottling works, which was located in Wellington Street, was run by one of his sons Ernest Arthur Wadsworth.

The company’s website records the next stages.

“By the turn of the century there were depots in Mildenhall, Ely, Chatteris and St Ives. By this time John employed another of his sons, Horatio to manage the bottling works in St Ives, it says.

“The sparkling drinks produced were supplied in special glass bottles. These used a ‘marble’ in the neck to keep the fizz in. Today these are collectors’ items!”

“The Cambridge business went into partnership with another local manufacturer Barkers, becoming ‘Barker and Wadsworth’, moving to the Barkers factory site on Willis Road, Cambridge. Sadly, soon after the Second World War, the Cambridge site closed.

J Wadsworth, based in the Broadway, St Ives, announced the closure in a post on their Facebook page last night. PHOTO: Google

J Wadsworth, based in the Broadway, St Ives, announced the closure in a post on their Facebook page last night. Photo (left)  historic Bridge Street where the business began and (right) an early advertisement.

“The bottling factory in St Ives, under the guidance of the late owner Mr Rex Wadsworth (the great, great grandson of John Wadsworth) moved into the wine & spirits market.

Due to expansion in the early 1970’s, it relocated from its Bridge Street site to its present location on The Broadway.

 

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