Book Of Remembrances

Dudley "Gordon" Davies - Coleshill and District 41 Club

The family of a former Ware businessman who became known for his successful shops has paid tribute to him following his death aged 91.

Dudley Gordon Davies, who was always known by his middle name Gordon, passed away at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, on February 2, following a short illness.

Gordon took up employment at Fishpools in Waltham Cross after serving in Egypt during World War II – rising to the rank of sergeant in the army’s stores.

Yet it was in Ware that his business career took off after he answered an advertisement placed in the Hertfordshire Mercury by Edward Chappell for the role of manager at Ware Furnishing Stores in 1948.

Not only did Ware Furnishing Stores sell everything that you could possibly need for the home, but the business also laid carpets, flooring and undertook domestic and commercial removals – taking them across the UK and to Europe.

At the store Gordon met Jeannette Collins, Mr Chappell's niece, who soon became his future wife.

While working as manager Gordon saw an opportunity for the business to grow.

His daughter Hilary Davies said: “They made the connection from the first shop that you could buy everything for your home so perhaps we could expand the business.

“In the 50s, a second shop opposite at 32 High Street opened selling cots, prams and everything needed for babies and toddlers.

“Then there was a demand for toys and over the years, it became the toy shop.

“Later in the 70s, a third shop was opened in Buntingford.”

Unfortunately, due to big brands such as Toys R Us, Tesco and the increasing popularity of out-of-town shopping, Gordon took the decision to close the shops in the 80s.

However, Ware Furnishing Stores continued with its removals and carpet laying services until 2008 - despite the stores closing decades before.

Not only was Gordon a predominant businessman, but he was also an active member of the community.

“Gordon was a member of Hertford Round Table and Hertford 41 Club and was involved with the setting up of Ware Round Table,” continued Hilary.

“Later he joined Ware Rotary where his organisational skills, a keen eye for detail and a passion for fund raising were again put to good use.

“One of his greatest successes came when Ware Rotary was fund raising for a hospital scanner for cervical cancer.

“Two boxing nights and concerts by Chas and Dave raised £65,000 - enough to buy two scanners.

“Ware Rotary was a contributor in the development of Wodson Park where Gordon played a key role.

“He was honoured with being Ware Rotary Club President on two separate occasions.

“Gordon valued highly the fellowship and camaraderie which Round Table, 41 Club and Rotary International offers, with the latter continuing to be a part of his life until a few years ago.”

Gordon was born in Exeter, Devon, in 1926, and grew up in various children’s homes.

He was reunited with his birth-mother 40 years later.

His daughter Hilary said: “Gordon adored having fun, singing, dancing and laughter.

“Even while at Willowthorpe Care Home, he was known for his comedic timing and one-liners.

“His other passion was his garden which he tended lovingly, growing fruit, vegetables and flowers.”

Gordon married Jeannette in 1954 and together they set up home in Little Widbury, Ware, where they lived for 60 years.

Together they had four children Hilary, Deborah, Lesley and Trevor, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Sadly, Gordon was diagnosed with dementia in 2007 and he moved to Willowthorpe Care Home in Stanstead Abbotts in 2014.

Gordon’s funeral will be held at noon on Thursday (March 1) at St Mary’s Church, Ware.

Family flowers only but donations are welcome to the Alzheimer’s Society and the Brain Research Trust via and selecting make a donation.