v 6.30.00
28 Jan 2022
updated 19 Nov 2022

Gavin Lester Main Waddell
(15 Sep 1937 - 22 May 2020)


Gavin in his Cheltenham drawing room,
with luridly-clad visitor

My wife Sonia, myself, and Anne Burgess,
with Gavin, loc cit

Gavin is the doyen of present-day researchersA,  B into our family's origins and history in Scotland, and his authoritative and immensely readable A History of the Waddells of Scotland was published last year (2013) to general acclaim. It was the outcome of many decades (starting in childhood) of personal exploration of historic family houses and the study of old legal and testamentary documents, diaries, church registers, gravestones, and so much else (in contrast to my own enquiries, which by and large are restricted almost exclusively to searching on the internet).

A Back in the late 1970's or thenabouts, my father's first cousins John and Julia (née Harland) Waddell lived in Trebovir Road, just off the Earls Court Road (and thereby already hung another tale). John's professional interests were in upmarket men's attire, and I believe he did his daily stint at Gieves & Hawkes, or some such Savile Row tailors, probably now frequented exclusively by oligarchs. And at some point in that era, perhaps at a men's fashion show of the latest styles from Italy (whither John and Julia later relocated), Gavin (a noted fashion designer) and my Uncle Sandy were introduced by John (Sandy's own interest in cutting-edge men's attire was minimal, but perhaps he'd been invited in a spirit of family solidarity).

However, Gavin and Sandy did discover a close common interest in family history: Gavin became a great friend and major influence upon Sandy's graphical representations of the Waddells of Balquhatstone and their cadet branches in Stirlingshire (though I'm not totally convinced by Gavin's subsequent re-think of a controversial generation back at the Big House).

B Most recently, Scotland and the Flemish People, St Andrews Institute of Scottish Historical Research, University of St Andrews, (2 Oct 2015)

But at the same time he was pursuing a highly successful career path in the fashion design industry, both commercial and academic. His professional background and the iconic living space he has created were featured in the recent (Feb 2014) issue of the influential lifestyle magazine Period Living (please also click here and here):



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Gavin's tremendous success in textile and fashion design is parallelled by his sister Sasha's career in the world of contemporary furniture design: