Wright Heaton & Co Ltd has had an amazing business history, firstly under the name of Wright, Barber and Co dating back to 1852 at 485 George Street, Sydney.
They were wholesale and produce merchants, carriers, shipping and forwarding agents.
From the company’s early days, horses and bullocks pulled loads from the docks and travelled throughout NSW and Queensland, conveying small packages, stock for general stores, luggage, wool packs and goods from overseas.
Like many business enterprises, when the railway expanded throughout NSW, so too did Wright Heaton. By 1890, they were established at Glen Innes when the company arranged the transport from England of the Town Hall Clock.
By 1900, the company had 29 branches in NSW. The Inverell branch opened in October 1901 in an iron shed with a small office opposite the railway in Ring Street. The first manager was Mr H.C. Lyons who was succeeded in 1940 by Mr Stan Gunson.
No matter what security there was, the thieves found a way in, including boring a hole through the floor.
At Inverell, goods arriving by train were supplied to stores throughout the town.
Merchandise included tinned foods, confectionery and biscuits. Wool and tobacco from the Inverell district were among the produce forwarded to Sydney markets by Wright Heaton.
Throughout both world wars, the company contributed to the war effort at Inverell by lending their horses and drays for fundraising and transporting items for the Red Cross. In 1919, they transported from Sydney to Inverell, free of charge, a billiard table for the Soldiers’ Club.
Wright Heaton Inverell was not without robberies. As early as 1926 the store was broken into and over three thousand pounds ($6000) worth of stock was stolen, including half a ton of tobacco, cases of pineapples and other fruit.
Robberies occurred in 1934 and 1935 when thieves were looking for tobacco, cigars and cigarettes. No matter what security there was, the thieves found a way in, including boring a hole through the floor.
Wright Heaton was purchased by Tooth and Company in 1978 and when the Inverell branch closed, the building was vacant for some years before becoming Gooda’s Wool Store.
Later, it was the first home for the Men’s Shed; today it is occupied by Dixon Homes.