Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

William Hodkinson & Son

William Hodkinson & Son, Fish & Poultry Merchants

A Brief History

William Hodkinson was born in 1854 and in 1874 at the age of 20 years he started his fish and poultry business in George Street, Hyde
In 1874 Queen Victoria was on the throne, Benjamin Disraeli was the Prime Minister & Ulysses S Grant was the President of the U.S.A.
William Hodkinson later married Elizabeth Ann ?? and they had 5 sons & 2 daughters.
William's business flourished and when his sons were old enough to marry, he decided to build houses for them. In Clarendon Street there were already 3 houses he owned. He then built 7 more for his offsprings and their families. It was known as Hodkinson's Row.
His sons later joined the family business. Thomas Hodkinson died at the age of 21.
Another son William became a chronic invalid after an accident on Broomstair. The family bought a sweet shop for William and his wife.
As well as his shop on George Street there was Hodkinson's permanent outdoor stall on Hyde market and three horse drawn fish carts operating around the town, Flowery Field and Godley etc.
At the start of the first world war, Ernest & Frank went to war, Harry stayed at home , William (father) was now 60 years old. At the time the business was badly affected by the war.
In 1918 the war ended, both Ernest & Frank returned safely, and things got back to normal.
The firm bought a lorry from " Whitehead & Furness" one of the first in Hyde. Thomas learned to drive. In 1920 William died aged 66 yrs.
In 1921 his son William who had been an invalid died aged 42 yrs. He left a son Thomas now aged 18yrs.
Thomas Hodkinson later married Elizabeth Ridgeway and in 1925 they had a son, who they named William. Later in 1932 Noel, 1935 Brian and in 1936 Albert were born.
At the outbreak of hostilities in 1939, fish supplies again were low, the business could not support everyone, Thomas left and the rest carried on.
Eventually the business was sold. There was still a Hodkinson's Fish shop in Hyde covered market (1998)

The above was written by a descendant of William Hodkinson, but I am not aware of his or her identity. If anyone knows please get in touch.

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