John Wakefield moved to Horsham to work for jeweller Jury Cramp in the shop now occupied by H Samuel. Having learned the trade John set up his first shop in 1911. In 1936 it was re-located to just a few doors down the road from Jury Cramp at 11 West Street where they are today.
As well as the jewellery business the family diversified into running high quality ladies and gents outfitters which are still in business today. Also set up was a china and confectionery shop in East Street and, in 1925, a restaurant at no. 8 West Street, where Clarkes are today. Above the restaurant the family ran a high quality outside catering service. When the Queen visited the Duke of Norfolk at Arundel Castle Wakefields were the caterers of choice.
In World War II the family and staff contributed to the war effort by manufacturing intricate parts for Spitfires. This unpaid work was carried out after hours in the workshop behind the 11 West Street shop.
Wakefields are now official stockists of Rolex.
Photos to follow…