Leslie Harradine relaxing at home in later years. Note the undecorated figures in the cabinet behind his wife, Molly (photo courtesy Seaway China).
In this final part of our series on Leslie Harradine’s life, we will look at him as a family man. Very little is really known about him other than the bare facts that he married three times and had six children and a step-son. Harradine had a habit of marrying his models and all three wives were his muses. From his first marriage Harradine had three daughters, Jessie, Josie and Norma and from his second another two Helen and Diana and a son Richard. The children apparently all knew one another, although Helen once said that she didn’t think Harradine liked children and that he firmly believed in the old adage that ‘children should be seen and not heard’!
Helen also famously said that all his wives loved her father to the end, although he seemingly cast them aside until his third wife Molly.
In recent times a collection of Harradine’s undecorated figures was sold by a London saleroom and purchased by a friend of mine. The auctioneer believed they had been consigned by Molly’s son. Harradine’s other families seemingly did not have any or many of their father’s work, indeed a grown up Helen and her son purchased a set of his Dickens miniatures from Jocelyn Lukins in the 1980’s.
Two of Leslie Harradine’s undecorated figures sold by a descendant (courtesy of Bonhams).
Very little additional information is known, but some recollections were provided by a close friend of Jocelyn’s whose family had holidayed with the third Harradine family.
A holiday snap of Leslie Harradine taken by a family friend
Leslie Harradine died in a Gibraltar hospital and I remember being told that the hospital had some Doulton architectural tiles, one final link to the maker and factory he helped make so famous the world over!
If you have any additional information on this great man, we would love to hear from you!