Running the shop has been a complete change of lifestyle for David and Jenny. Despite the difficult economic conditions which have caused many retailers to fail, Hudgies Hardware is a great success. Since starting the business, David and Jenny have increased the volume of stock to cover a very diverse range of goods. Not only can you still buy nails by weight or fireplace accessories in Clare, but you will also find bottled gas in Suffolk and the latest well designed products for the home or garden. Together with the help of their staff, David and Jenny have
endeavoured to keep a traditional ironmongers on the High Street providing a service for the local community and further afield. The trading principles are simple - good quality merchandise at sensible prices and lots of free advice.
Hudgies Hardware occupies part of a grade 11 listed building in the large Suffolk village of Clare. It is believed that the property was built in the late 1600s. Early records show that in 1709 it was owned by a linen weaver who had 4 rooms in what is now a cottage annex.
The first ironmonger was John Sadler in the 1830s and he was succeeded by Thomas and Charles Wade in the 1840s. By the 1850s the property was occupied by Thomas Wade, his wife Sarah, 6 children, one apprentice and two domestic servants. The business employed 4 men and 2 apprentices and much of the merchandise was manufactured on the site in what had previously been the location for the looms.
When the Wades moved to Colchester, the property was taken over by J.E.Hart who was succeeded upon his death in 1892 by his 19 year old son E.F.Hart. He died in 1934 whereupon the shop was rented by Ernest Willis until 1939 when he bought the premises. Willis retired in about 1980 and was succeeded by J Thomas, then later by A.F. Hurrell. The present owners are David And Jenny Sleath who bought the property in August 2002, when the shop was almost at the point of closing and they established the partnership known as Hudgies Hardware.
Monday: 9.00 to 17.30
Tuesday: 9.00 to 17.30
Wednesday: 9.00 to 17.30
Thursday: 9.00 to 17.30
Friday: 9.00 to 17.30
Saturday: 9.00 to 17.30
Closed for lunch between 1.00 & 2.00 except on Saturdays