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
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
completing his apprenticeship he worked for Lasker & Lasker in
Sydney. On February 11th 1901 he joined Barnett Phillips
tailor, in Newcastle as a cutter
Richard’s father, Richard Alan
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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