A Letter from Nantwich

February 2008

Baronia wear returns to its home town








Julie Clewlow with one of the garments from the Baronia range.






Ladies' coats (left) and men's trousers, right - in the Baronia factory at Nantwich.

      Picture: Nantwich Museum




The Baronia by Gollas label in the garments on sale in Nantwich.

CONGRATULATIONS to Nantwich businesswoman Julie Clewlow who has brought a Nantwich clothing name back to town. Customers of her shop, Julie at Ruth Rae, in Hospital Street, can now buy garments with a Baronia label in them. True, it is strictly Baronia by Gollas, but the name of the famous Nantwich factory lives on.

   The garments are made in Frankfurt and the firm was exhibiting in London when Julie overheard a representative say the name Baronia. Assured that it was the "Nantwich Baronia", she placed an order.

   Clearly the materials in the luxury range and the workers are German - certainly not Dabbers - but as long as the world still sees the name Baronia, I am all right with that.

IN case you are not aware of the Baronia factory's history, let me tell you. The Manchester firm of John Harding opened the Nantwich branch of their empire (they also had a factory in Crewe) in 1872. As it was built in Barony Road - next to the site on which the Wood Memorial Chapel would be built in 1881 - it was called Baronia.

   After having several owners, including a  former managing  director, it was closed down by the then





A drawing of the Baronia factory in Barony Road.     Nantwich Museum picture

owners - another   clothing firm, Kindler's Ltd - in 1989 and was sold to a property developer in 1993. It is now Baronia Place (left).   

    Julie told me that she had been the proprietor of Julie at Ruth Rae for eight years, taking over the business when Mrs Rae retired. She had previously been in business in one of the

town's many (at that time) antiques shops.

   She has a childhood link with Baronia as she remembers taking meat from the family business to the firm's canteen.



"That was round the back in Arnold Street," she recalled.


lTo see Julie's latest fashions - especially the Baronia range - visit www.ruthrae.co.uk. Or you can go to the Gollas website on  www.gollas.de.

The picture on the right is believed to show two local doctors, Dr Munro jnr and Dr Johnstone from the Kiltearn practice, possibly having been to The Workhouse  on The Barony. They are riding past the Baronia factory.

   In the background is the Wood Memorial Chapel (Primitive Methodist) which was built in 1881.

   The surmise is made by Andrew Lamberton, co-author of "Lost Houses in Nantwich" from where the picture is taken.


Left: the same view today.

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