For over 150 years, in the heart of the stunning High Peaks of Derbyshire, Hargreaves and Son have been trading in Fine China, Crystal and Glass, since first opening it's doors to customers in Higher Buxton in 1865.
Hargreaves & Son is one of the oldest businesses in Buxton, trading on Eagle Parade and was founded by Mrs. Alice Hargreaves.
Alice and her son Sam, acquired the business Charles Wilkinson (Glass, China & Eathernware Merchant) in 1896 and traded at both premises for some years. Mrs. Hargreaves died in 1904 and her son sold the business to four investors, one of which was local entrepreneur Mr H.R.P. Lomas who chaired the newly registered company in the same year.
In 1906 Charles Holmes joined the company having been a department manager at the Quin & Axtens store in Brixton, London. His father, also named Charles Holmes, had often visited Buxton to receive Hydroptherapy treatment at the Spa for his ailments. Charles became director in 1913 and gradually brought his three sones; Charlie, Percy & Leonard into the business.
Percy Holmes became managing director of the Buxton shop and took over the role of chairman. Percy also brought his wife Elsie and their two children Kenneth and Teresa into the company; all of whom worked in the shop. Ken had the role of warehouse manager and was an expert at handling the very heavy ceramics that were delivered in large wicker baskets from the factories in Stoke-on-Trent. Teresa married Cliff Coles, and he joined the company too. Both Cliff & Teresa took over the running of the Buxton shop under the direction of Percy. Teresa and Cliff had three children, Rachel, Heather and Martin. Although Rachel chose not join the company; both Heather and Martin did. Heather joined in 1988 managing the new coffee shop on the first floor having gained a diploma in Catering at Harpur Hill College, Buxton. Martin joined in 1989 having acheived his diploma in Business Studies at Stockport College, working in the shop and eventually becoming a managing director. Martin's husband Kelly joined the company in 2012 and they both continue to run the Buxton shop and cafe to this day, under the guiding hand of Teresa.
Leonard Holmes managed two shops in Stockport with his wife Margaret; one on Great Underbank and one at 131 Buxton Road, Heavily; until his retirement.
Charlie Holmes became sales manager of the Hargreaves Hardura hotelware division of the company. We have aquired examples of Hargreaves Hardura Hotelware and is on display in our cafe and tea rooms.
Charlie's son Reginald Holmes, who followed in his footsteps, recalls..
"The Hardura trademark came about in the late 1920's or early 1930's. There was a warehouse in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent and also one in London. This latter was to have stocks readly available for delivery to the nearby hospitals and hotels. There were agents in South Africa, Australia, the Far East and West Indies selling the Hargreaves Hardura ware. The hotelware was manufactured principally by Sampson Bridgewood and sold under the name of Hargreaves, Hardura Hotelware. Just after the war, 1946 or 1947, the Albert Street Pottery Limited, in Burslem was purchased and for the first time, Hargreaves & Son Ltd became manufacturers.
On leaving school in 1949, I went to work on the factory, at the same time studying ceramics at Stoke College. The works was extremely busy with a growing export trade but in 1950, possibly due to too rapid expansion and the decision to change to the vitrified earthenware body with its associated production problems, Albert Potteries Ltd ran into financial difficulties. The decision was taken to sell the company to the rival company of Dudson Brothers. This coincided with my call-up for National Service. Hargreaves Hardura moved to temporary warehouse acccomodtion in Heathcote Road, Longton. I returned to the company in 1953 just before the move to Anchor Place, Longton. The premises were convenient, being close to the Bridgewood factory who, once again became manufacturersof Hargreaves Hardura Hotelware. J.H.Weatherby's of Hanley also produced ware to the "Hardura" design and trademark. Although I had always enjoyed being part of the family business, in 1969 I decided to leave the firm to follow a life in the world of music"
Four generations of the current family have made Hargreaves their life's passion. It's a proud heritage, one we're privileged and honoured to continue; delivering the same customer service and knowledge that our forbears provided, that time honoured understanding of our products, our customers and also new and upcoming trends and tastes.
The handsome four storied store built in 1880 on Spring Gardens, Buxton was bought from Chatsworth's Duke of Devonshire estate in 1923 and has expanded over the subsequent decades diversifying yet remaining true to Mrs Alice Hargreaves original business plan of china and glass retailers, to offer quality, value, and variety.
from little acorns
This is how our company looked when it first started trading, founded by the indomitable Alice Hargreaves way back in 1865.
With her son Sam, she set up shop selling China and glass from her operation on Eagle Parade, and we're proud to carry on selling china, glass and much more!
a new look...
In the late 1880's the buildings and shops on Eagle Parade were demolished and the grand colonnade was built on its location. Fortunately, the shop owner had nice new premises to move back into. There was also a watch repair shop above Hargreaves which is why there is a large clock over the shop windows.
on our way
Upon Alice's death the business passed to her son, and in time the company appointed Charles Holmes Snr to manage the firm, beginning a tradition that continues to this day, four generations later.
150 years strong
Not many companies reach such a milestone and we're always grateful for all the support we've received over the years, especially through the challenge of lockdowns, we're fighting fit and ready to deliver on quality value and style, just like Alice Hargreaves did way back
to the Palace!
It's not just us who think Hargreaves is something special,
His Majesty the King Charles III, invited Martin to attend Buckingham Palace at the first reception of his reign, to recognise the contribution Small Businesses make to the Country and Economy.
We were understandably thrilled to receive the honour and our family business to be acknowledged so.
In attendance were also, The Earl of Wessex, now Duke of Edinburgh, and the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent.