The History of Hunter Street
Hunter Street,  Information Pages  (H2)
Lost Hunter Street, Newcastle NSW Au


Richard Thomas Rundle was born 1869 in Mudgee. He married Rose in 1894 but they divorced in 1903. In 1904 he married Catherine Ellen Ackers Lindsay and they had 7 children :
Irene 1904  Iris 1905-1905,   Richard 1906-1966,   Frank 1810-1993    Endocrinologist First Dean of medicine at UNSW, Elsie 1912-1870, Nelson 1915-1969, Phillip-1917-1994 Specialist physician

After completing his apprenticeship he worked for Lasker & Lasker in Sydney. On February 11th 1901 he joined Barnett Phillips, merchant tailor, in Newcastle as a cutter

Richard’s father, Richard Alan Rundle was a London tailor’s cutter. After immigrating to Australia he became such a respected craftsman in his new home that when the Sydney to Parramatta Junction rail line opened he was commissioned to create a special jacket for the train’s guard to wear on this inaugural journey.

In 1908 Richard Thomas Rundle opened his tailoring shop on Hunter Street in Newcastle NSW calling it Rundles. Richard was an early innovator and was one of the first tailors to see the potential of sewing machines as a more cost effect method of tailoring, controversially moving away from hand sewing on the knee.

During the war years 1914 - 1918 Newcastle's industries boomed and by 1920 Rundle's had grown to be one of the largest tailoring businesses in the district, employing 5 cutters, 25 male coatmakers and 6 vest makers plus apprentices, tailors' trimmers, pressers and salesmen
At 16 years of age Lindsay Snr. left school and joined his father. In 1927 shop values had increased and Richard felt that he should move to premises in Scott St. where he opened a branch which he took over from Corns, the tailor. This branch traded under the name of "The Newcastle Tailoring company". Suits were sold at the cheaper end of the trade and on time payment. In 1931 Nelson joined the company. There began the close association between Lindsay and Nelson which was to continue until Nelson died in 1968

Rundles had trading troubles in 1932,  Richard Thomas Rundle had successfully traded his department store through the Great Depression. However, he had extended credit to too many of his long-time customers and this resulted in liquidity problems for the store. Catherine repairs

Rundle was unhappy about her husband’s generosity and together they both worked extremely hard to get the Rundle department store back to its former prosperity. Richard Thomas Rundle died in April 1936

From experience gained in Sydney, Lindsay was able to become experienced as a cutter. It was the time of draped coats-double breasted American coats with American shoulders and sleeves and cheese-boarded chests. They gave a keen cutter some scope. The work was greatly admired and business started to boom. Beautiful window displays helped attract people to the shop. The suits were so well made and the cloths so carefully selected that they went to the top very quickly. In 1937 Mrs Rundle bought the David Miller Estate, the Hunter St. premises previously occupied by the retail grocers, Lane & Trewartha. She moved the tailoring business into half the new premises on Christmas Eve and a new era for Rundles as a private company began.

During the 2nd world War business boomed. They got a lot of work making uniforms and when the Americans came so came the increased demand for uniforms. Because of the trading boom of the war Mrs Rundle was able to finish off paying the shop. She died in 1948. On her passing Nelson and Lindsay Snr. inherited the shares in Rundles.

In the 1950s, under second-generation tailors Nelson Rundle and Lindsay Rundle, Rundles began its expansion by wholesaling quality suits and blazers nationally while maintaining a retail presence in Newcastle. In 1952 it became a public company, Rundles Pty Limited.
The 70s was an exciting time for Rundles under the guidance of Lindsay Rundle and now third generation tailor, Peter Rundle. The business established itself as one of Australia’s largest suiting manufacturers. The company employed more than 500 people and was oneof the largest employers of women in the Hunter region.

Expansion continued and in 1989 Rundles purpose-built a 5,000sqm factory in Kotara for the manufacturing of suits for large-scale production. At one point Rundles  was the third largest employer after B.H.P and the State Dockyard, employing about 400 people in a modern purpose built factory at Kotara.

With the reductions in tariff protection, the 90s was a difficult time for clothing manufacturers in Australia. The Rundles large-scale facility was closed down in March 1998. Later that year Peter and his son Andrew Rundle reopened a small factory and retail store under the name Rundle Tailoring.

In 2016, fourth generation tailor, Andrew Rundle and his wife Bronwyn proudly took over the reins.

More on the Rundles Family

More information:

By Spero Davias
from information kindly obtained from the Rundle Family

The History of Hunter Street
Hunter Street,  Information Pages  (H2)
Lost Hunter Street, Newcastle NSW Au