Behind closed doors: Shearer Candles

When Ian Barnet first visited the home of the woman who would later become his wife, it was clear he had found a keeper. It was the early 1980s, when candles were kept on the dining table, unlit, for so long that they gathered dust. Not Rosey, who filled her flat with candles and lit them every night. Ian, who had molten wax in his veins, was smitten.


He had joined his father’s business, Shearer Candles, when he left school. Ian’s entrepreneurial dad, originally a restaurateur and hotelier, had bought the company when he had difficulty sourcing candles for the Beacons, then a hotel in Glasgow’s Park Circus. By the time Rosey wafted into Ian’s life, Shearer was supplying many of the city’s hotels and restaurants with traditional tapered dining candles. 

It was his idea to bring her into the business, which at that point was based in the original Victorian factory next to Ibrox stadium. “I remember one day when our two girls were little,” she recalls, “when he said, ‘I think you need to come into the business. In case anything happens to me.’” It was not a glamour assignment. “I was right at the bottom – on reception, sweeping the floor, making the coffee.”

This is just a taster, you can browse the full article with more stunning photography on pages 220-224, issue 101.

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Photography Jonny Barr
Words Stephanie Murphy