Having concentrated on the more negative aspects of this family, it is reassuring to realise John Crocket and Marion Stark actually had children and grandchildren who went on to make a success of their lives.
John and Marion had a son, Thomas Gowans Crocket, who was born in Edinburgh on the 19 May 1809 and his trade was in basket weaving. Thomas married Helen Hume on 31 December 1830 and they went on to have eleven children, although three died in childhood. All of Thomas’s children, even the girls, learned the family trade and his sons went on to have their own businesses in Edinburgh. However, Alexander Hunter Crocket, born on 5 December 1850, would take the family business even further by opening a store in Glasgow which sold pots and pans, as well as baskets.
Crocket the Ironmonger first opened its doors in the Cowcaddens area of Glasgow in 1870, however it was forced to move to West Nile St after a compulsory purchase order so the motorway could be expanded. Over the years, the store broadened its range to include corporate clothing, homewares and gifts, in addition to thousands of tools and DIY gadgets.
The store became an institution in Glasgow and was there for almost fifty years before it finally closed its doors in 2015 as the current owners wanted to concentrate on their store in Ayrshire and their online business.
The company also had a shop in Callendar Riggs in Falkirk, near the bus station, and I have memories of going in there with my mother for diverse things from hoover bags to cheese graters. Needless to say, the Falkirk shop was also a casualty of the company’s desire to streamline their business which ultimately failed as the Ayrshire store was forced to close and the company finally dissolved in 2019.
I read an article in a newspaper where the last owner of the business stated he didn’t even know the name of the ancestor who established the business in 1870 and didn’t want to know it which made me incredulous. Just think of the family scandals he missed out on!