A brief look into the history of Braddicks and how we came to serve North Devon and beyond for over 100+ years and counting.
Our first shop opened in 1897, and still stands today in Mill Street Bideford. Before 1897, Hobart started selling furniture and small pieces of furniture/picture frames off a horse and trap. Hobart’s father JJ ran a butchery business based in Coopers Street Bideford, so he would also take the horse and trap to deliver meat. Eventually, Hobart managed to acquire our Mill Street shop in 1897 which was when Braddicks the Furnishers was officially born.
(The above photograph is the oldest one we have of our shop building, just before Hobart secured the lease for our furniture shop. The photograph is of a coach builder's workshop, and we're assuming this photograph was taken not long before 1897).
Hobart’s son Leslie joined him in the family business and it went from strength to strength.
The business specialised in selling all items of household furnishings of which many were made using local craftsmen and sold at 31 Mill Street.
The photograph below shows the Braddicks Furnishers sales team at a local show selling our products. Leslie is pictured second in from the right. This photograph was taken around the early 1950s.
Later on, a successful removal business was started whereby deliveries and collections of furniture around the country coincided with removals. Leslie went on to form Braddicks Seafield Holiday Park at Westward Ho! And the Elizabethan Club, however Hobart’s passion was always in the furnishing business.
Leslie’s two sons Ian and Graham followed into the family business after leaving school and further expanded an already flourishing company. Graham concentrating on the Bideford end, and Ian based at Westward Ho! on the holiday and Elizabethan Club side. Further expansions took place during this era, with the development of the holiday park adding more accommodation, a ballroom, and a thriving restaurant. With Bideford adding an electrical business, pet shop, amusements, electrical rentals, a bargain stores, and Estate Agents.
In the mid-90s Ian with his sons James, Ben, and Steven took sole control of the furnishing business and Seafield Holiday Park, and Graham with his son Robert concentrated on the leisure side of their business.
The business had continued to grow and in 2009 the building of Stanley House and additional warehousing had completed having outgrown the old warehouse in Torrington Street.
Ian's sons James, Ben, and Steven have continued to diversify with Seafield Holiday Park, a domestic and commercial rental business, and the formation of Braddicks and Sherborne Funeral Directors in the year 2000. Like Hobart, the three of them on a daily basis are involved in the furnishing business dealing with both domestic and contract flooring and furnishing requirements.