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K.B. WILLIAMS AND SONS, MALLOW

By

C.

Power

The following is an extract from an article by the late Jim. Copps

entitled

"A

Historical Walk Through Mallow" (Mallow Field Club

Journal No.1, 1983):

The premises of Messrs. f.A, Barry Ltd. (Cash &Carry) was one time

an orchard, with a building where dances and concerts were held.

Later a tannery was established by the Haines family on this site.

When the tannery closed the business was taken over by the Williams

family, who founded a grist mill in place of the tannery. The milling

business was continued for three generations of the Williams family

until it closed in

1967.

At the entrance to the mill from the main

street was a pawn shop and dye works, both owned by Messrs.

Williams, which both ceased to operate early in this century.. Two

doors up from the archway which leads to Barry's premises was

Wallace's bakery, formerly Reilly's bakery.

From the foregoing unfolds a picture of what was once an

important industry in the commercial life of Mallow during part of

the last and first half of the present centuries, namely

K.B.

Williams

&

Sons. The progression from an orchard to

a

recreational centre, to

a tannery, and finally a corn mill is an interesting image of that part

of the town, namely Lower Davis Street and Tuckey's Hill, backing

on to the Town Park.

A

tannery was an important industry in every

commercial centre, as leather was vital in the making of harness for

horses, as well as being a necessary ingredient in the making of boots

and shoes. The hamessmakers and shoemakers were part of life in

almost every village and town. There were 17 boot and shoe makers

in Mallow in 1824, as well as

5

leather shops and 4 hamessmakers.

The arrival of the "plastic age" made these mini-industries slowly

and surely, but sadly, obsolete.

The pawn shop, too, disappeared, but its existance was also vital

to everyday life. The overcoat or the suit, or indeed many a

household item , was pawned on Monday , and redeemed again at

the week-end , when the wages became available. The dye works also

disappeared, as modem technology took over. However, the corn

mill still remained well into the present century, and happily we have

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