Saturday, April 10, 2021

A Family Buisness


The Amberleigh Candle Works

What started out as a home business in Amberleigh has become a thriving enterprise, providing not only candles but also jobs for the village. Run by the Canfield Family for three generations, The Candle Works is an important part of Amberleigh Village life.

Mr. George Canfield, an ambitious young man, saw there was a need to provide candles locally for the people of Amberleigh and its surrounding area. The nearest place producing candles was in Cheltenham, a ten mile journey and not always easily assessable when the weather was harsh. Candles may be purchased in Bexford, for at that time there was no variety shop in Amberleigh, but they were dear and many did without, relying only upon daylight to complete their daily chores.

With Money inherited from a kindly uncle, Mr. Canfield built his house and an outbuilding in which to start making candles. He worked from dawn until dusk with the help of his brother to produce a candle of quality, knowing a product well made is worth the money paid to purchase it. He set out to make enough to sell but also built up a reserve inventory with the intention of sending his brother out to find customers in nearby Cheltenham. Because his prices were much more affordable for the locals, he soon made a success of his endeavour, branching out to provide candles for the shops in Bexford as well as a wider area, thanks to his brother’s salesmanship.

Having established himself, he turned his attentions to building a family, proposing to Miss Evalina Winthrop, that season’s most eligible young lady. Theirs was a much talked about union, both having ambitions for their future and together their business and family grew. Their stylish home, Micel House, became home to four daughters and one son. All learned the business of making candles but it was the son, Mr. Winthrop Canfield, who expanded the business, buying land to enlarge the small outbuilding, where the candle enterprise began, to three times its size and adding a counting house to the premises. The larger building enabled their outcome to triple, creating a need to hire extra help to meet the needs of their customers.

Today the Candle Works boasts a work force of twelve, supplying the neighbouring villages and the nearest towns with candles. Mr. Heath Canfield, son of Winthrop and Evalina, newly returned from his grand tour, works with his father overseeing production and shall take on the job of managing director upon his father’s retirement. He has also become a very sought after young man by the mothers parish who hope he will marry one of their daughters; a very auspicious match indeed. He has embraced his role in the family business and hopes to make his mark with his ideas on expanding and developing the Candle Works.

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