A 124-year-old furniture company has blamed ‘growing chaos’ on the High Street after it went into administration.

Wesley Barrell, which has its factory and head office in Ducklington village and 11 showrooms across England, including one in Witney, appointed administrators last Thursday.

Wesley Barrell (Witney) Limited and its assets were then sold to Wesley Barrell Interiors Limited, which the company says will save around 60 jobs.

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But it did not confirm or deny rumours of redundancies and employees going unpaid.

An ex-employee who recently left the company revealed Wesley Barrell’s proud reputation in West Oxfordshire had been under threat for a while.

The Oxford Times:

They said: “It’s a huge shame because everyone wants to see local companies doing well.

“Everybody knows Wesley Barrell in Witney and a lot of members of staff were from Carterton, Witney and Charlbury.

“But the reputation has gone down in the last year.”

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The business has specialised in ‘classically designed’ furniture ever since founder Anthony Barrell established the company in 1895. Dozens of people from across the district work at the Ducklington factory and Witney showroom, on Bridge Street.

Fears the factory would close have so far proved unfounded, with the company confirming that ‘core manufacturing of sofas will continue alongside its logistics and administrative operations’.

The business has retained 10 showrooms, although it did not confirm which store had been lost.

The Oxford Times:

Fourteen of Wesley Barrell (Witney) Limited’s 16 officers listed on Companies House have resigned over the years, with sales director, Ayiaz Ahmed, and company director, Nazia Babar, still active.

Mr Ahmed is listed as the one person with significant control of Wesley Barrell Interiors Limited.

A spokesperson insisted customer orders placed with Wesley Barrell (Witney) Limited ‘will now be fulfilled by the new company’, while new orders ‘planned to be fulfilled in the normal manner’.

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They added: “We would like to thank all our customers for their support during these difficult times and we look forward to serving them in future.

“We would also like to thank all employees past and present for their dedication, hard work and commitment to the business as we look forward to a brighter future for all.”