The Business started in 1891. William Skillen was a skilled watchmaker and jeweller. He honed his skills in a no wages apprenticeship, before buying his business from Dick Russell. During the 1930’s he also worked on bicycle’s and cars, had petrol pumps and ran Castlewellan’s first taxi service. These were the days when diversification was the key to success, in a rural location.
After William’s death, his wife Martha ran the business until her (3rd of 5 children) son George and his wife Iris took over the reins making many changes and modernising the business. George was a school teacher by day and Watchmaker in the evenings, while Iris who was adored by her customers, continued to develop the business until 1995. It was at this point her (2nd of 3 children) son Ernie, who had been working in the business since 1991 took the reins and continues to this day.
Through ever changing times the business continues to provide quality goods and services to the people in the locality, seeing 5th generation customers from many local family’s, still happily shopping at Skillens.