About Us

A HISTORY OF McLAUCHLAN & CO, PAISLEY'S OLDEST FAMILY JEWELLERS

The McLauchlan family started trading in the town of Paisley in the latter half of the nineteenth century.   It was early in the twentieth century when the newly widowed Kate McLauchlan started trading in her own right in china, crystal, cutlery and fancy goods.   She opened a jewellers and fancy goods shop in Paisley High Street in 1909, the year that her son John McLauchlan married Jeannie Primrose.   That was the start of 100 years of shop keeping in the town.

The first shop was located at 20 High Street and subsequently moved to 46 High Street.   During that time the business developed its trade by directly importing china and crystal from Czechoslovakia and other countries in Europe.   They also started selling beads, Whitby jet and costume jewellery.

When Kate McLauchlan passed away in 1941 her son John McLauchlan took the reins.   He had been a commercial traveller and in the 1940's and 1950's he developed the sale and repair of watches and clocks and had his own watchmaker on the premises.   McLauchlan & Co were always ingenious in creating business opportunities.   During the Second World War money and goods were very scarce so the shop started operating a savings club which still runs to this day.

After the Second World War John's son Bill joined the business and became the third generation of the family to continue trading on Paisley High Street.   The business grew at 46 High Street and during the 1950's the business passed on again to John's wife Jeannie McLauchlan who had been a well-known teacher of dancing in the town from the Primrose School of Dancing.   China was a mainstay of the business and in 1958 they obtained the permission of Paisley Town Council to reintroduce bone china with the full Paisley Coat of Arms.

When Jeannie was in her seventies, Bill became manager of the shop and saw the future of the business in jewellery, watches and clocks.   He gradually changed the business direction developing sales of gold and silver jewellery and watches.

In 1963 the opportunity came to move McLauchlan & Co back down the High Street to the busier end of town so the business moved lock, stock and barrel to a refurbished shop at 27 High Street in May of that year.

McLauchlan & Co was always a very busy shop and built up a substantial reputation for jewellery and watch repairs.   Supported by top quality manufacturing jewellers Bill McLauchlan took in old gold jewellery for remodelling to the latest designs.

In 1978 Bill's youngest son, Craig, was called from school to stand in for his father who had broken his collarbone.   This dramatic introduction to running a jewellers business came naturally to seventeen year old Craig as he had been helping his father every Saturday since her was twelve years old.   Craig was now the fourth generation of McLauchlans to support the family business.

In the 1980's the shop at 27 High Street was sold to developers and McLauchlan & Co took the opportunity to move to new purpose built premises at 22 New Street in 1986.   The new shop was staffed by Bill, his wife Nan and Craig.   In 1991 Bill McLauchlan passed away and Craig took full control of the day to day running of the business with the help of his mother.

New Street provided further opportunities for the business to develop and to introduce high quality jewellery including wedding rings, diamond engagement rings, gold bracelets and chains.   New brands of watches such as Rotary and Accurist were introduced.

Jewellery and watch repairs attract a loyal customer base back again and again.   Jewellery remodelling from customers unwanted rings and bracelets is still popular and customers can bring in their own ideas which are then professionally manufactured to a unique design.   The shop also provides services to larger clients including Renfrewshire Council, East Renfrewshire Council and The West of Scotland University manufacturing awards and medals and work on official regalia.

Many repairs are carried out within the shop providing a quick and professional repair.   Simple jobs like fitting batteries to an Omega or Tag Heuer watch can be carried out while the customer waits although testing of water resistance to one hundred metre depth takes a little longer.

In 2008 ownership of McLauchlan & Co passed to Craig and he is supported by an experienced team of assistants.   Kathleen, Margaret, Louise and Margaret make sure that the customer always comes first.

 

As the number of jewellery businesses in the town diminish McLauchlan & Co strides forward with the support of their loyal clients.   After 100 years in business we must be doing something right!