A&B Glassworks News
124 Stoke Newington High Street,
In November 2020 at 75 years old and after 40 years at A&B Glassworks, my father, Brian, finally decided to retire from running the business full time. I have been working in court security since 2008; my career has taken some unusual turns since I left working for A&B in 1997. After working in the glass industry for a number of years I found myself in Doha doing stadia condition surveys for the Qatari Olympic Committee and then in Dubai as a finishing foreman in high-value apartments on the Palm Jumeirah. A year in the Middle East was enough for me and I couldn’t wait to get home, on my return I set up a plumbing business based in northwest London subcontracting bathroom installation work from Harrow Council until the age of austerity cut off government grants to council housing.
I decided I needed to ride out the economic downturn in employment so found myself working in soft services for the City of London Corporation at The Old Bailey, somehow later I became Head of Security there overseeing a team of sixty-five officers managing eighteen courtrooms dealing mainly with murder and the most heinous of crimes- it was truly a conveyor belt of human misery but did teach me the importance of remaining calm under pressure and providing a high level of customer service at all times. I left in 2019 with the intent of doing something easier on my blood pressure but found myself lured back to managing courts in 2020. (Pop in to see the original judge’s chair in the shop rescued from a skip in the car park of The Old Bailey if you are interested!)
When dad decided to retire it wasn’t a hard decision to take over, I have worked on and off in the industry for 30 years and have a real affinity for glass and Stoke Newington. I knew the refurb would be hard work but perhaps did not quite envisage the scale of the work; we have installed a new staircase, knocked down a brick air-raid shelter, rewired the electrics, replaced the kitchen and a roof, renewed floor joists, painted throughout and exposed brick walls and some beautiful floor tiles from the days when the shop was a greengrocer.
Now we are open and ready to welcome customers back, with all the old services and many new ones and a new dynamic team. Even Brian will be back, helping out with his glass cutting skills in the shop on a part-time basis.
We are now providing more services in bespoke glass, so can help with all balustrades, balconies, splashbacks and shower screens. Our installation supervisor, Matt, has come on board from a bespoke glass company in south London with a high reputation in the industry so his experience will ensure you get the high-quality finish you are looking for every time.
When discussing the handing over of the business from my father to me, I had to remind him of my previous occupations to reassure him that I wouldn’t find running the business too stressful!
James and the team.