With all the other news, I'd missed the fact that Glasgow's Remnant Kings had folded after 72 years in business.
A fabric and haberdashery retailer, it was established in 1946 in the east end of Glasgow. Frank McKeon and Jim King recognised a demand for home furnishings in post war Scotland and embarked on a journey together to set up a business selling patchwork quilts.
At the time, Frank was a school teacher in Shettleston and had seven children to his wife Liz. With Frank in full time employment, a strong will was required to get the business started and they opened a store in Sword Street, Dennistoun with the name Kings above the door.
They sourced off cuts from local textile mills which they used along with other recycled textiles to manufacture the quilts. The roll ends were delivered in large wicker baskets, from which they would sort out into plains and patterns. The fabric was trimmed and ironed and set aside for sewing. A heavy fabric, often tweed, was used as the backing, adding significant weight to the quilts.These were sold via a 'menage'.
A 'menage' was a popular way of purchasing things in post war Glasgow, where the local community would come together, each paying an amount weekly and lots were drawn to decide when they would receive the goods. The person running the 'menage' would usually receive their quilt free of charge in recognition of organising the co-operative style purchasing.
More and more customers requested the fabric roll ends for dressmaking and this brought about the change to selling fabrics. With the name Kings above the door, and more remnants being sold, the company became known as Remnant Kings.
Their fabrics were fed through thousands of Singer sewing machines, making millions of sets of curtains, seat and setee covers, and almost everything else you can think of.
A family business for three generations, now, with changing tastes in home furnishings, fewer folk sewing, and visiting the high street, the firm is no more.