Family Business Recreates History: One Family. Seven Generations. 400 Staff. Five Million Pairs of Shoes… and counting.
On Wednesday 21st of March, a local SA Family business will celebrate 150 years in operation. Grundy/Barlow shoes (formerly Judd Shoes), will recreate this 150 year journey with the transportation of goods by horse and lorry, from their Glenelg store to their Adelaide store.
Commencing as Judd Shoes in the East End in 1868, the historic horse and cart transport will reflect the development of this family business, culminating right now with the 7th generation of the Whittenbury family employed by this chain of stores.
Not many SA businesses can claim this longevity, let alone the employment opportunities which has supported many SA families over the decades.
The Judd, Grundy’s and Barlow shoes official celebration will occur at the Adelaide Town Hall, on March 24th at 630pm, with the Lord Mayor Martin Haese, as the guest speaker.
Henschke Wines, notably “The Bootmaker” will be served on the night, as Henschke one of Australia’s oldest wineries was also established in 1868.
The Whittenbury Family will be travelling in period costume from the Griffin Hotel (formerly The New Yorker, established in 1859) located at 38 Hindmarsh Square Adelaide, also by horse and carriage, to the Adelaide Town Hall, which will epitomize the 150 year milestone.
See150 Year Display located at level 2 at the Adelaide Town Hall. See extract following.
For more information including travelling routes and times please contact:
Natalie Bailey (Director)
Hiphooray Pty Ltd
Thomas Judd emigrated, as a 10 year old boy, with his family from England in 1855 aboard the “Taymouth Castle”. During the voyage young Thomas broke his leg, which was poorly set by the ship’s surgeon. Corrective shoes were not readily available in the fledgling colony, so Thomas, with the help of his boot maker uncle, learnt how to make his own.
The “Star Boot Manufactory” opened in 1868. Originally located in East Terrace, the business soon moved to larger premises, with a shopfront, at 262 Rundle St. where it remained until 1979.
Along the way, Judd’s evolved from being a cobbler servicing the needs of the Adelaide Produce Market workers to become Adelaide’s first and foremost retailer of ready to wear ladies fashion.
In 1926, Stan Whittenbury (Married to Thomas’ granddaughter, Vera) opened Judd’s, 105 Rundle Street. Ladies could then walk proudly with a pair of fashion shoes in the latest European styles, then and there, without waiting for a cobbler to make them. Which was quite a revolution at that time,
Post war, Vera and Stan’s three sons, Ralph, Len and Vern opened more Judd’s stores at Glenelg and Da Costa arcade. The next gen, Paul, Randy and Brenton added Tea Tree Plaza and City Cross in the ‘80’s.
The 6th generation, Gavin, Damien and Sarah have opted to concentrate their efforts on the Grundy’s and Barlow stores.
And now the seventh generation has joined the business, now inheriting custody of a great family legacy and tradition. They will write their own new chapter of the proud story.
Originally H. Grundy & Co, T. Judd & Son bought the business in 1921 when they saw an opportunity to expand further west along Rundle St. towards the retail heart of Adelaide.
Grundy’s traded as a family shoe store right up until the ’70’s, stocking everything from footy boots, to work/hiking boots, nursing (duty) shoes, slippers, walking shoes and children’s shoes.
The transformation of the East End has seen Grundy’s business evolve into today’s destination store for lifestyle footwear, stocking the world’s most desirable brands, still at the original location.
New stores opened at Glenelg in the early ’90’s and at Victor Harbor in 2007.
The Barlow family had 2 shoe stores in Rundle St., from the turn of the 20th century. In 1962 the premises at 67 Rundle St. came up for sale. On hearing the news, Vern Whittenbury sprinted up Rundle St. and seized the opportunity.
A.W. Barlow Shoes became the third string to the families’ bow, offering men’s and ladies fashion footwear, right in the heart of the city. It was the
rock that carried the business through the peaks and troughs of trading conditions.
Now trading in Charles St. (just off Rundle Mall), Barlow’s continues to service Adelaide’s next generation with the flagship Converse and Dr. Marten’s brands.
There is much to celebrate about the remarkable 150 year story and the pride of being South Australia’s oldest, continuous Rundle Street trader.