leather & gloving
hawkins, jesty & ricketts
Glove Manufacturers of Higher Kingston
Hawkins, Jesty & Ricketts was a glove manufacturing company during the first half of the twentieth century. The partners were John William Hawkins, John Albert Jesty and William Ricketts.
Hawkins, Jesty & Ricketts were certainly operating from 1903 when they purchased six cottages with their gardens called Dodham Cottages, otherwise known as Newton Buildings, for the sum of £650 (around £400,000 at 2017's value - with a £500 mortgage from Penelope Worsfold Mayo of Swallowcliffe, Yeovil, the widow of John Ryall Mayo) from Lucy Chaffey (widow of wool merchant Benjamin Chaffey and the daughter of glove manufacturer Edward Raymond). It was here at Dodham that they established their leather dressing yard.
Their glove factory in Higher Kingston had earlier belonged to glove manufacturer Henry Bryant Phelps and later by his brother's company, Robert Phelps & Co. They also had their dressing yard at Dodham, mentioned above.
Hawkins, Jesty & Ricketts first appear in the trade directories as Glove Manufacturers of Higher Kingston in the 1903 edition of Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser. They were listed simply as Hawkins & Jesty in the 1907 edition of Collins' Yeovil Directory but returned to Hawkins, Jesty & Ricketts, Glove Manufacturers of Higher Kingston in Kelly's Directory of 1919, in which they also had a separate listing for their dressing yard at Dodham.
William Ricketts died at Yeovil in the spring of 1921 aged 63. His business interests were continued by two of his sons, William and Ernest, who went into partnership to create their own company of WJ & EG Ricketts Ltd, that was to become one of Yeovil's largest glove manufacturing and leather dressing companies, finally closing in 1980.
The final listing of Hawkins, Jesty & Ricketts appeared in Kelly's Directory of 1935 as Hawkins, Jesty & Ricketts Ltd, Glove Manufacturers of Higher Kingston.
The leather dressing yard had been demolished by 1946 and the glove factory was demolished in the 1960s as part of the District Hospital redevelopment scheme.
maps & Aerial Photograph
This map, based on the 1901 Ordnance Survey, shows the glove factory of Hawkins, Jesty & Ricketts at centre.
The 1886 Ordnance Survey showing Dodham Cottages, their gardens and the Hawkins, Jesty & Ricketts leather dressing yard at centre.
The 1946 aerial photograph shows Stars Lane running from South Street at top left to the bridge over the railway and the slopes of Summerhouse Hill in the bottom right quadrant. By this time the Hawkins, Jesty & Ricketts leather dressing yard that included Dodham Cottages had been demolished - the cleared site is seen at centre, above and left of the bridge.
The signatures of John Hawkins, John Jesty and William Ricketts.
A full page advertisement from the June 1924 edition of "The Glover" listing those local companies taking part in the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley - including Hawkins, Jesty & Ricketts of Higher Kingston.
This photograph of about 1965 shows Hawkins, Jesty & Ricketts' glove factory in Higher Kingston, on the north side of the road opposite Kingston Manor House.
From my collection
A postcard of around 1910 showing the view from Summerhouse Hill. Summerhouse Terrace is seen at centre, to the immediate left of the gasometer, with the Ewens & Johnson glove factory known as Foundry House (one of the few buildings in this image which still exists) immediately below the gasometer. The Hawkins, Jesty & Ricketts leather dressing yard is at bottom right and enlarged in the following photograph.
From my collection
Foundry House stands at centre left and the Hawkins, Jesty & Ricketts leather dressing yard is in the bottom right quadrant, with the former run of six cottages - Dodham Cottages - arrowed.