A brief history of J Wadsworth – A unique family run business
John Wadsworth was Mayor of St.Ives in 1879 -1880. He was a member of the first council of the Borough of St.Ives from 1876 to 1885.
Photograph courtesy of the Norris Museum collection
In 1869 he started a company at number 1 Bridge Street ‘John Wadsworth Mineral Water Manufacturer’.
Wadsworth’s delivery cart can be seen on the left of the picture of Bridge Street.
In 1879 the business expanded into the bigger market place of Cambridge. The new bottling works, which was located in Wellington Street, was run by one of his sons Earnest Arthur Wadsworth.
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.
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.
The Manor House, 1 Bridge Street, the site of the first bottling works.
Under the guidance of the present 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 and today has a thriving trade at its present location on The Broadway.
Wadsworth’s shop front, The Broadway, St.Ives