BARRACLOUGH, WINNIFRED MARY nee MURCH
Winnifred Murch was born in Manchester, England on the 25 August 1878, the daughter of George and Harriett nee Ramson. Winnifred came to New Zealand with her parents and family on the Lutterworth in 1880 landing in Auckland, and came to Hawera from Wanganui in 1896. A sister was Dora Pirani.
In 1908, she married Manson Barraclough, a butcher, and the couple built a house at 29 Argyle Street, Hawera. To their sorrow, their children were all born dead - possibly a RH factor problem. Even when she was under the care of a New Plymouth specialist, the result was the same, and she almost died of septicemia.
When her mother died in 1914, she left the family drapery business to George, Win and Cyril who bought out the other two. Win's main interest in life was the shop where she continued to work until she was in her seventies. Old friends would often drop by in the morning, pull one of those long legged customer's chairs up to the counter and have a yarn.
Win loved to sew for the shop, and made to order "comfortable' frocks of black sateen or gay print in the early days. In the 30's, she made long flannel winter petticoats with wool crochet edging, and in wartime, with shortages, sewed 100's of aprons, and sugar bag peg-bags with hand sewn applique design on the front, and a coat hanger top. When lace edged handkerchiefs were unobtainable, she sewed lace on plain ones. Apparantly the Murch's brought with them to Hawera, a whole roomful of gay print fabric, and their first customer was a well known Maori woman. When times were hard, it was the patronage of the Maori customers that saved the day.
Early shop staff members were Miss Henn, Olive Hurrell, Vera Walker, Miss Allen (milliner), Win Morsehead (Mrs Les Barkla), Eva Young, Dell Goodwin, Vera Williamson and Pearl Walker. Staff in 1933 included Joyce Gould, Renie Davis, Hilda Irvine, Win Trim, Thelma Cressie, and Jean Murch.
About 1947, a widowed sister-in-law made her home with Winnifred and Manson, and kept house there until they died. Win was delighted, she loved to play cards - 500 or bezique - and they spent hours and hours doing just that.
Winnifred Barraclough died on the 26 November 1954 aged 76 years at Hawera, and is buried at the Hawera cemetery.
Bob Murch took over the shop when Cyril died in 1959. The old two storied building with the right of way at the side was replaced in 1969. When Bob and Joan Murch retired Dowsett's took over the building.
Alison Robinson, Stratford (niece)
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