I became fascinated by the Lebus story when I moved to Tottenham Hale in 2001.
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Iwas looking for information on Harris Lebus during WW1. My grandmother worked there during WW1: -loading pickaxe handles on to railway truck.. and doping aeoroplanes. I stayed with my sister Ethel in Walthamstow.
Grandmother’s name Amy Ward. I have a tape of her mentioning this which I made when she was 91 (1979).
Hello, – have just read about your grandmother – my uncle who has just died at the age of 104.10, started work at Tottenham, in 1920 out in the field unloading the barges and sorting out wood from all over the world, he had a good memory and remembers Sol Lebus and his brother and also their sons – 1 of whom was Oliver Lebus, during the WW2 they made the wings for Spitfires, and also made the gliders for the Normandy Landings as well as the hausers – landing craft. He took early retirement when the company shut down Tottenham and moved to up north, in the middle 1960;’s.
I would love to get in touch with you – I’m researching the River lea – timber trade and furniture making for a project for Bow Arts. Would love to speak to you about your uncle!
My Dad worked at Harris Lebus from 1955 until it closed in 1969. He was one of the last employees to leave the Ferry Lane factory.
His name was Robert (Bob) Beiley and he was a French Polisher by trade as had been his father before him. He had previously worked for Hille and Company the upmarket furniture makers but when they moved from Leyton to Watford in the early 50′s he found the daily journey from Walthamstow to Watford (albeit by a coach provided) too much so he went to work for Lebus.
He was a skilled man and he found the work monotonous but financially rewarding. The Management soon recognised his skills however and he worked with their designers to create formica in authentic wood grain finishes to try and cut the costs of using real wood. Our house was full of foot square “samples” during the 60′s as Dad produced a variety of finishes – from Oak through Sycamore to Walnut.
To my everlasting regret, I did not learn the French Polishing techniques so the skill no longer resides within our family.
Great to find the site about Lebus – thank you very much for creating it.
Wow, so interesting. My Dad Freddie Robertson was also a French polisher (he did apprenticeship polishing piano). Dad was travelling French polisher / repair man if there was a problem with an item, before, after or during delivery. Grey viva van. I also regret not learning my dad’s skills.
My grandfather Fred Fervently worked there all his life in the boiler rooms. This stopped him being called up for both wars! When we were kids we went to the factory every year at Christmas for a party and to see Santa (1956-1960?). My memories are vivid. Fred ply started talking about his work in his 90′s and I wish I had recorded his memories.
My father (Kenneth Grant) worked in the Boiler Room / Powerhouse from about 1935 until 1950 when we came to New Zealand. He also was in the Home Guard but prevented from being call up.
Worked in tottenham factory between 1960 & 1966.
Met my wife there.
My father, uncle & cousin worked there.b (names Bright & Scott)
I have a Lebus pension worth £29 PA.
I worked in design development & drawing office.
I worked in Maddox street on saturdays
Oliver Lebus paid for Stan the barber to shave off my beard.
Hope these thoughts are of interest.
I’m told my Grandfather, Ronald Ravens worked at the factory during the War. I don’yt know how long he was there. Are there any employee listings anywhere? He died around 1991. He had a brother and his father was a cabinet maker, – Did they work there?
My father worked there at the start of the 2nd WW, I believe as
an accountant. Do you know if there is an employee list anywhere and if that would
have prevented him from being called up?
Thanks from Vancouver Canada
I’ve just read you message on the Lebus website.
I was interested to see that you had family named Bright (Uncle and Cousin I think). My mother worked at Lebus’ before and during WW2 and her name was Hilda Rose Bright. Her father was Herbert George Bright who unfortunately died in 1921 at the age of 31. His parents were Henry and Jane Bright. Our family has no contact with the Brights and I would be very interested to hear whether your family were from the same branch of the Bright family.
I look forward to hearing from you.
My father – Kenneth Grant worked there from (I think) 1935 until we left to come to New Zealand late in 1950.
He worked in the powerhouse where the factory burnt its own wood waste to make electricity which when this was surplus to the factories requirements was fed into the national grid.
As a child I visited where he worked and still have some pictures of the powerhouse.
If anybody knew him I would appreciate the contact.
My dear late Grandad worked for the Lebus brothers; I believe he may have been there from the 1940’s until the 1960’s. His name was Leslie Harcourt & he was married to Florence. I think he had a managerial and/or office type postion. I remember him talking about friends who moved to New Zealand – maybe it was your father!?
My grandfather was Harris Lebus. His son was Herman, and his son was Anthony, and his son is me.
The only ones of my Father’s generation who are alive now are my Mother Barbara (Bunty) and my Uncle Ollie’s wife, also named Barbara but always called Squawck. My Father died in 1983 and Ollie died in 2009. My Uncle Tony Richards died in 1983 and his wife in 1993. She was also named Barbara but was she always called Barbie.
We had a Lebus family barbecue in June and 61 of us were here – yes, we’re a large and close family.
I have read the messages below with enormous interest.
My father William Butler work in the offices from 1926 until the firm
closed. I still have his presentation wrist watch given to him on
retirement. My father lost his first job in London during the General
Strike and walk miles looking for employement. When he arrived at Harris
Lebus looking for work, Herman Lebus was coming out of the door, and gave my
father a job on the spot.
I worked from the age of 15 (1949) to 1952 at the Workes Office ad Personel
Office as Junior. I was allowed two afternoons to attend Tottenham
Technical College. It was a fantastic place, the wood arrived as trees at
one end of the factory and came out the other end as furniture.
I went to parties when I was young and while working there went to the
famous dances they held.
The hours were long and my wages for a 40 hour week were 1.10s.
I reemember meeting all the Lebus clan and had a long conversation with
Anthony Lebus once, he was a charming man.
Whe I married I chose my furniture from Tab.Street, in London
I have a photograph of a dance my parents went to.
I sent the rest of my father’s archive material when he died to Bruce Grove
My maternal grandmother Violet ‘May’ Cox met my Granddad Joe Baldock at Lebus in the 1920’s. Did you know other people name of Cox [later Baldock] ?
Cox is my married name and I would not have met you grandmother. I started work at Lebus1949.
there was a sister to Sol – Majorie, who had gone to Cambridge before WW1 and who mairied a felllow student, C. A.Mace, later distinguished professor of Psychology at Birkbeck College,University of London (1944-1961) and a prolific writer.. Majorie edited a book of her husband’s papers. Their two sons are alive.
Did Uncle Ollie go to Jesus, Cambridge?
I ask as my mother Betty (born Dec 1919) was a girlfriend of a Lebus, in the family firm, but I forget his Christian name. My interest has been rekindled as I have just found a Jesus hatpin in her belongings, which won’t have come from my father. From your family tree, Ollie seems the right age. Happy to provide more info but regret very little available.
Dad (Richard Lebus) – you haven’t answered this lady’s question!
My mother was a nanny to Philippa, Rosemary and Richard in the early 50’s and I have group pictures and individual ones and would be pleased to return them if you wish.
I am married to Richard so Rosemary & Philippa (lives in USA) are my sisters-in-law. Only just seen your message. Photos would be wonderful.
A cousin of mine, not sure how distant, but very, was Herman’s wife, Ethel! I met her in 1971 at her home in Grosvenor Square. I was 19 and studying abroad in England. My roommates and I had gone to to see the King Tut exhibit and then called on Lady Ethel. She asked what we had done in London and we told her of the Tut exhibit. She nonchalantly told us she and Herman had been in Egypt in 1922 when the tomb had been discovered. Then she went on about something else! We were in awe.
Hello – recently purchased – by chance – a postcard for the Drake Hotel in Chicago. The postcard was sent in 1959 to “Lady Lebus” of Grovsenor Sq….fascinated…and persuing…I understand the card was sent by “Squawck and Ollie” while in Chicago in 1959.
Does this make sense ? As familiar of Tottenham I was unaware of the Lebus family but am interestec of their history.
If you could shed lights on the remainder of those in the card “David Weil” etc ?
One of your family gave my great uncle a reference for enlistment into the British Army in WW1. His father was Herman Kleine, who was German and I am researching the family history. Charles Kleine worked at Lebus- did this company have any connection with being German? I note your Grandfather was called Herman
No, the company didn’t have any German connections. Harris Lebus’s father Louis emigrated from a town in what is now Poland but at the time it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Whoops, a mistake…
Harris Lebus was my great-grandfather, not my grandfather.
There are so many interesting stories here.
Hello Richard what a surprise to hear from you on here lebus was my very first job after leaving school at 15 great place to learn my trade, very happy memories
worked for harris lebus 1956/57, worked on 7, line spayer, left in 1958, to get married and have a son, my husband used to work in HJ shop, would love to hear from any body who remembers me or fred johnson /hubby/
my father, Ernie Messenger and his brother Dick, plus dad’s brother in law Lou Bamber all worked for Lebus. lou went to Wrighton’s, but my dad was made redundant in 69, along with hundreds of others. not much on that available.
my mum Betty and my dad’s sister Prim, worked at Burgess’s in tottenham high road. I remember putting the change in metal canisters and sending it back to the shop floor. I think it was called the Lamson
just reading about lebus .i was a young lad in the sixties loved playing on the barges by lebuses.you mentioned burgesses,gone many years ago.just before the riots last year in tottenham,burgesses was a aldi supermarket ,which was burnt down .i knew a driver at lebus called ted law ,he always had a funny story to tell .it wasnt till they started demolishing lebus,that you realised just what a massive site they had.plus the north side of ferry lane.and the field and pavillion in millmead rd.good reading about old tottenham
My dad worked for harris lebus his name was ernie worman did anybody know him.
yes, I remember that there was an Ernie Worman at Tott’s when I worked there in the 1960’s. Very nice man!
MY FATHER [EARNEST SONGHURST] STARTED WORK THERE AT THE AGE OF 14[ I AM NOT SURE OF THE YEAR]
AND APART FROM THE WAR CARRIED ON WORKING THERE TILL 1957,WHEN WE MOVED TO DEVON.HE WAS A CARPENTER ON THE MAINTAINANCE SIDE OF THINGS.
I REMEMBER BEING TAKEN TO THE SPORTS CLUB AND TRYING TO BOX…..THIS DIDNT TAKE MY FANCY.I REMEMBER A NAME OF FRED ALSNAL ?.AND DADS CARPENTERS MATE WAS CALLED RUBEN.THE CHAP WHO TAUGHT MY DAD HIS TRADE WAS CALLED MORRIS
HE RETIRED AT THE AGE OF 70 AND DAD WENT TO HIS HOUSE AND BROUGHT THE TOOLS HE WANTED.I STILL HAVE A WOODEN REBATE PLANE AND ONE OR TWO BITS AND PIECES WITH MR MORRISES NAME ON.
WAS THERE A HERMAN LEBUS?
My friend and neighbour has shown me this website and I instantly recognised your names! Your father as you know was my best friend. It would be lovely to hear from you after all these years. I can remember clearly the happy times we spent at the seaside together and you playing with my sons Tony and Christopher!
Hello young Stan trembler me .
What a fascinating correspondence. My grandfather was Sol Lebus, who was Harris’s (much) younger brother and partner. His older son was my father Louis (LS) Lebus who worked in the company all his life. My brother John and I worked at the company for some years in the late 50′s and early 60′s. My father wrote a history of the company from it’s earliest days in the 1850′s when my great grandfather came to Hull and then London from Germany until a few years after the war. Two of his sons (Harris and Sol) followed him into the furniture business. Some comments above refer to furniture and its age. I have a copy of the History which has a number of pictures of the furniture ranges. If anyone wants to send me a picture of the furniture that they have, I could check to see if there is a photo that would help.
I believe that John opened up Eventide Bedding and ran the factory in the East End and maybe Great Harwood!
I was a young assistant manager at the Liverpool showrooms before taking over an area of the eastern counties when I was just twenty four.
Harris Lebus was very established when I joined them as a trainee at Tottenham in 1959 before going on to the smart showrooms in Maddox Street. Reg Holloway was the ebullient sales manager for the south who was always popping in with retail clients. We had some great new product launches from Maddox Street.
My Father-in-Law, Walter Yates worked there in the machine shop until the factory closed.
My father Patrick Brignell worked for Harris Lebus for many years and I have a photograph of his somewhere with (I think) either Herman or Harris – I will dig it out and publish it.
I remember your father, he worked with my father William Butler in the Office at Lebus. I know we visited your house and you came to ours in Enfield. My mother’s address book does not give the address but your
Telephone no was 01 800 4837.
Hi Jean, How nice to hear from you – sorry for the delay but I have not visited the site for sometime. I have now sorted out some photographs of my dad and Sir Herman and others so I am hoping I will be able to send them in to be published. The name William (Bill) Butler rings a bell and our telephone number was indeed Stamford Hill 4837. I wish my dad was alive to see the comments on here as Lebus was his life and I have his gold watch for 50 years service.
Margaret Beard (Brignell)
I remember your father! we worked together for many years under our boss named George Robey and he even lived quite near to me on Alexandra road Tottenham. I remember him as being quite short and very likeable. If i remember rightly your brother qualified as a doctor which was quite an acheivement in those days. regards Stan
Thank you for your kind comments regarding my dad. My brother John became a professor and mum and dad were very proud of him.
my father John Brignell was Pat Brignell’s brother. He worked for a short time at Lebus on the air frames before joining the army
I worked for lebus furniture as a driver in woodley depot in Reading from 1974-1978-it was a great job doing multi drop deliveries all over great britain,proberly the best job of my driving career, couldnt carry those sofas on my back now tho.happy days.
Hi Roger Smith
My name is Paul, the Dutch man who worked for Lebus in Woodley, during the 1970’s until the factory closed in the early 80’s. I do remember you. I had some great times working for Lebus. I now live in Fareham, Hants. I trust you are keeping well,
Hi Paul sorry ii can not recall your name but rember your face i believe you opened a fryed fish shop I also rember your fellow Dutch man who drove for us and did the limited work into Holland in the late 70s
Hi David , I’m darren, son of Tony May the driver/ shop steward . I know you posted this in 2013 but I’ve only just found this site, hope you’re still alive, it would be nice to hear from you, I have so many memories of woodley. My number is+447990594545 it would be nice to hear from you. Darren
Hi, I come to this site rather late. My father Kurt Voos, nicknamed Bernard, or Duchy. drove out of Ferry Lane as far as I remember.
Anybody remember him?
Hi Paul, I was wondering if you could advise exactly where the Lebus depot was in Woodley. Was it near Adwest?
Hi Roger Thinking back things were pritty good sadley there are not many of us left still keep in contact with Jinm Halsey in reading
My dad and uncle (Billy and Tommy Freeman) drove trucks at Lebus’ in Ferry Lane during the late 50’s and early 1960’s. They drove grey Bedford SB pantechnicons with Merchandise Transport written on the side. The trucks were consecutive number plates from XXF 700 to XXF 708 and my dads mate, Phil Cook, also drove one. My uncle Fred Britten and hsi daughter Barbara also worked there and we used to go to the Social Club behind the main factory for drinks etc at Xmas.
my father work at lebus arthur james he new billy freeman was his wife name betty
My Mum and dad used to talk of Arthur did he live in Bedfordshire when he retired??
yes shefford beds were i was born billy sometimes use to vist when i was first married
Sorry Paul only just checked the site out again, bill died in 2000 of cancer but betty is still alive living in stoke newington in the old family house. i came to your dadfs place in shefford one year and im pretty sure he went on holiday once with my mum and dad,.
i remember fred britton i think he worked with John Noble in manufactored goods whitch was next to our workshop
my father worked for lebus is name was patrick sims and i remember when he finished working there the last day the company traded, we lived in broad lane.
My first job was in the photographic department at Lebus in 1962 I had four very happy years there until the department closed down in 1966 I will always be grateful to a great photographer who was head of the darkroom section, Bill Turner, he was 28yrs when I started at 16yrs on £4.15s a week. Bill was a born teacher, with a fantastic knowledge of photography. As well as churning out hundreds of photos of each furniture suite, we ran a thriving developing and printing service(unofficially) for many of the Lebus staff. When girls got engaged they decorated their desk with garlands and I had the job of doing the photos of the girl with all her work mates. I still have a “Merrutt” paper trimmer in use that I was allowed to take in 1966. A couple of years ago I met Oliver Lebus, and I was able to share some of my memories with him.’
hi came across your website today and would like to add a memory
my father alf atwell worked at harris lebus from 1942 until made redundant
in 1967 . his job there was a veneer grader and i clearly remember walking
down the towpath to where he worked right alongside the river lea in the early 60,s
i would love to hear from anybody who remembers him sadly he passed away
in december 1969
I would love any pictures of employees at work around teh time of the War. My Grandfather, Ronald Ravens worked there at this time so I am told. How good it would be to find a record of this.
Having from time to time looked around the web for Lebus information, I have just happened on your web site.
I worked for Harris Lebus straight from leaving school in 1951 and continued there until the start of the 1960’s, I then left to join the Civil Service continuing in the furnishing field.
At Lebus I started in the Jig and Samples shop (Area T1) making jigs and gauges for furniture production generally. Eventually I applied for a post in the Jig Design Office where I stayed until leaving. I can remember many characters, to name but a few, Percy Larman, Eric Reddish, Bob Beaumont and Don Billings.
During my time in the Jig Shop I can remember George Nicholson was the Manager, Arthur Bridges was the Foreman. Fellow workers there, were Neil (Ginger) Scott, Graham Morgan, Eddie Pinfold and Ted McKay. On one occasion during what I believe was the lunch period I was completing our syndicate football pools entry when I looked up and who should be standing behind me but Anthony Lebus. I expected to get a rocket, which was not unusual, but to the surprise of everybody around he just wished me good luck and went on his way.
There are a lot more memories of my enjoyable time working at Lebus. I did come in contact with many of my old associates during my early Civil Service career when as a Quality Assurance Officer I was tasked to visit the factory to check on quality of Government Contracts. Good Luck with the web site.
My father Francis Kaukas and my grandfather Joseph Kaukas were both employed by Lebus as cabinet makers (journeymen) before the outbreak of WW2. They lived in Tottenham. My grandfather originated from Lithuania but my father and his brothers and one sister were all born in Tottenham.
We have very little of the Kaukas family left now and I am trying to find out any information possible about them.
Is it possible that any records are held of their employment?
I was lucky enough to come across a Harris Lebus hall stand some time ago that is quite arts and crafts style, complete with copper repouse panels, sloped door panels, beveled glass mirror, and brass coathooks and drawer/door hardware with cutouts ala Mackintosh. I would love very much to restore it. Not knowing best way to go about it. It looks like it had an umbrella stand on each side, possibly with some sort of metal (copper?) receptacle at the bottom (missing now) along with some kind of metal bar of an “L” shape to corral the umbrellas. There is a shadow/ghost on the oak side of the cabinet that looks similar to the coathook brackets. I’m hoping to find someone out there might have a similar piece to compare notes about. Does anyone have similar pieces of HL furniture. I will send photos if interested.
Lucky you! It was seeing a hallstand of the design you describe that first piqued my interest in Lebus furniture.
I can give you a couple of places to look for similar pieces, in case you have not yet restored your own. One is the book THE ART OF HOME CONVERSION by Lorrie Mack, published by Cassell. The photo appears on page 65 of the edition I own.
The other image I have came from an antique shop in the UK. I can find the name and location of the shop if you are interested; just let me know, and I will look it up. (My contact info. is available through the Website address included here.)
I wrote an article about the Lebus company for American Bungalow Magazine a couple of years ago, having returned to London in 2008 to do the research. The staff at the Bruce Castle Museum were most helpful. I had lived in England for 16 years, beginning in 1971, so it was a good chance to visit a few dear friends, as well as my first employer, Roy Griffiths, who ran a cabinetmaking business based in Wisbech.
With best wishes,
Nancy R. Hiller
NR Hiller Design, Inc.
Not much has been written about the Lebus family. My mother was dressmaker to Sir Herman Lebus’s wife Lady Ethel Lebus and as a child we often went ‘up to town’ from Kingston to Grosvenor Square. W1. The sumptuous first floor appartment was full of museum quality antique furniture, beffiting a man who ran the largest furniture makers in the world. Generally speaking my mother and I would be restricted to the staff room where my mothers friend Irma Stangl was cook to the family. However quite often Lady Lebus would take me on a guided tour through the dining room painted in georgian green with the plaster paneling ‘rubbed’ so the white would grin through. The only item that I can recall here was a magnificent chinese screen, that ran the entire width of the room and was reputed to be very valuable. In the hallway was a large portrait of Sir Herman by Anigoni and another oil of the country house, somewhere near Bedford. Apart from being given several books to read, mainly on art, including a signed rex whistler account of his paintings. This was to while away the time whilst my mother was fitting and sewing. Lady Lebus would show me the pair of Cannelleto’s which hung in her own room. The only other item I remember was the ‘Kelvinator’ fridge, that by todays standard would be absurdly small in capacity but was six feet high. We also visited Mrs Oliver where my mother would spend the day sewing. This was in Victoria Road, Kensington. I can just remember the two sons Timothy and William. My mother is now 95 and has fond memories of those days.
My Dad Jack Williams worked at Lebus from 1946 until his sudden death in 1968.
Really interesting reading everyones memories, my late mum worked as a sprayer at Lebus late 40’s early 50’s until she married in 1956. Does anyone remember Violet Thurley and her uncles the Baker brothers,Alf ,Sid,Wally and John who also worked at Lebus and were all big Spurs supporters. I have a photo of a works outing all women and one happy looking bus driver at southend i think.
My dad Fred was one of the Baker brothers and another was Joe. I have a copy of May 1961 edition of The Lebus Log that has a photo entitled “The Bonnie Bakers”. It shows Joe, Wally, Fred, Alf and Sid and says they had given 154 years of service between them. Joe was a fitter/polisher, Wally a foreman /polisher, Fred a glass fitter, Alf a cabinet fitter and Sid a machine assistant.
My late father James [ Jim ] Gale joined Lebus straight from school aged 14 yrs, and worked there for 42 yrs, he was a wood machinist. He met mum there, Lilly Brimmer she was a french polisher. I remember as a child my brother and me going to the christmas parties that was put on for the staffs children. I know that dad worked there during the war and I believed that they made the Mosquito airplane there. It would be nice if anyone remembered them.
My late father Harry Gilchrist worked there during the 1950s. He too was a wood machinist. In about 1959 he left to work for Frank Austin furniture makers in Lee Bridge Road, and retired in 1979.
I too remember the Christmas parties. Mum volunteered as helper serving meals to the children. Happy times.
I was interested to read Tony Gales recollection of Lebus.. My Dad Jim Brimmer, worked for the company as far as I’m aware from when he left school circa (1932) until he joined the RAF in 1939.
My understanding is that Dad was a cabinet maker. I wonder if Lilly Brimmer was a relation, possibly a cousin.
I am seeking information regarding the Harris Lebus factory during the Second World war. My mother Margaret ( aka Peggy) Hartley Morley and my grand father Herbert Morley worked there. I am seeking as much information as possible. Thank you
MY MOTHER VIOLET HURST,AND MY ANTIE,FRAN HURST,AND MY FATHER EARNEST SONGHURST ALL WORKED THERE ON MUNNITONS AND ON SPITFIRE PARTS,MY FATHER WAS MAKING MOCK TANKS UNTIL HE WAS CALLED UP.
can anyone tell me, if this harris lebus company was part of, or had a factory in Woodley,Reading berks. If this is the case then my late father Peter Woolgar was one of its drivers up until the factory closed in 1981-82. I think he worked for them for over 20 years i can remember him going to holland in the seventies but he spent most of his time doing what they called the irish run, leaving on a monday and returning home on a friday, i went on two occasions in 79 and 80, he would be remembered for his lorry being attacked in the londonderry riots after bobby sand died in his hunger strike i can remember watching his lorry burning on the 9 oclock news. I can remember parties at our house in the seventies with other drivers, ray perrin,les bell, ernie hicks, tony hearn, roy angel and others, i hope this brings back memories. scott
Harris Lebus had a Upholstery Department in Woodley, Reading.
Hi Scott, haver just found this website. i worked in as a machenist, in Woodley gosh the names you nentioned Especiall Ernie Hicks he is married to my cousin. I worked there from the age of 15 untill it closed down Happy days
hello scot I remember your dad peter one of the many drivers.i worked on group five with bobby hatt,maurice Kirby,john randall, alan khan, peter Harrison six men to a group.our group was situated near the entance to the warehouse.i can remember some other drivers.terry chapelle,dave clements,ian clements, ricard clements,earnie ?,sailor,dave birch other names in factory,ken Hopkins,ken jury,bob markham,bob webb, bob fisher,maurice narraway dave dowden paul kellaway mary reeves june critchell rene allen fred potts vic illsey alan thorngate douggie gee miky Clarke rosa Clarke neil walker david Jacobs john newman fred Pritchard.i worked there from 1969 to 81 when it closed down.
Hi Bob my goodness all those names you have mentioned there so many memories of them . Lot of them still with us. Alan Thorngate lives a few miles away from me here in North devon see zneil Walker every March Lovely to read all the comments. Many friendships made then still last to this day x
My great grandfather Reuben Huggett worked at Lebus’ before his death in 1935. We think he may have ended up as some sort of manager there. Several of his son’s worked there too, notably Ernest Huggett who worked from 1923-1962. His death certificate says “Adressograph operator”. Whatever that might be?
I’d be interested to know more.
I have an old Adressograph in my loft. Mine is a wonderful bit of pre WWII machinery for printing envelopes with addresses from a “distribution list”.
The list was made up of hundreds/thousands of small brass plates, each embossed with a name and address. The machine I have is a hand crank but I guess larger ones would be electric.
I found this site by accident but, boy, does it bring back some memories. I used to live in Wood Green and as a keen cyclist would ride past the factory a couple of times a month when I was 13 or 14 years old!
I have a couple of shots of “Harry” Lebus lorries on my web site
Just from doing a quick search on the internet for Reuben Huggett, I came across this post. Reuben Huggett is also my Great grandfather, my grandfather was his youngest son Horace. I’d be interested to know what additional information you have about the family to help me with my family tree!
I am trying to find out more about Harris Lebus pensions. If you have any contact information please let me know. Thank you.
My father paid in for a full pension plus extra money to provide a half pension for my mother when he died. Unfortunately after retirement Harris Lebus closed and all the pension were paid each month from an insurance policy. When my father died we found that the Insurance did not include the wives. It was a very difficult time for my mother.
MY GRANADAD, ALBERT MOSS WAS A LIGHTERMAN , AND IN THE 1960S
HE USED TO BRING BARGES ALONG THE LEA LOADED WITH WOOD FOR THE LEBUS FACTORY, I USED TO GO TO WORK WITH HIM IN SCHOOL HOLIDAYS AND MEN I N THE FACTORY LET ME COME IN AND SEE THEM
GLUEING THE VENEERS TO THE SHEETS OF CHIPBOARD, SAME THAT WAY OF LIFE HAS STOPPED
I worked at lebus from 1951 until 1966 and I am trying to trace a pension fund, for this period, are you able to help.
The lebus pension scheme was managed through legal and general.
The proof of membership was a simple certificate issued to employees on their leaving the company.
Names from the past
Mrs Patience print lady
I CAN REMEMBER THE NAME FRED MOON,I THINK MY FATHER [EARNIE SONGHURST ]WORKED WITH HIM.
WHEN WE MOVED TO BERRYNARBOR [A SMALL VILLAGE IN NORTH DEVON] WE CAME ACROSS ANOTHER EX EMPLOYEE [ BRIAN PRIOR ]WHO HAD STARTED WORK THERE THE YEAR WE LEFT TOTTENHAM …1957…….SMALL WORLD !
If anyone reading this has any pictures of Lebus trucks they would like to email me I would be glad to hear from them; my Dad and 2 uncles worked at Ferry Lane for many, many years driving trucks, I grew up travelling in the school holidays with them and I have pictures of a few lorriesbut would love more.
I joined Lebus in 1974 as a driver working from their factory in forest road Walthamstow. The lorries operated under the Merchandise Transport name and were all TK Bedfords except for one D series Ford. Most of the drivers lived in the areas that they delivered in although I lived in Kent and delivered in South Wales. To get me home on a Friday, I would pick up a lorry loaded for me to deliver around South London on a Saturday morning, then back to London for a welsh load on Monday. The majority of our deliveries were to private households on behalf of mail order companies. There were a few of the old Tottenham Hale staff still working for Lebus then. Peter Manton, Johnney Noble and Ron Chazalon organising the drivers. In the late 1980’s Lebus ran into financial trouble and sold out to PMA owned by Malcolm Meredith. He soon closed the Walthamstow works and transferred production to a factory he owned in Halifax making Ironing boards. Everyone was made redundent except for about eight drivers who carried on loading out of Halifax. We were made redundant in march 1981 and a few months later the PMA group collapsed. I retired last year after 45 years on the road but without a doubt my seven years at Lebus were the best. I get a Lebus pension of £70 per month less
£14 tax. Just as well I have a collection of small pensions from a lot of different employers.
i remember the names you mention i worked in the garage at tottenham with pete manton
I exchanged Christmas cards with Peter Manton for thirty years after Lebus closed. Sadly he died just before Christmas 2011. He was the drivers foreman at the Walthamstow factory and a great chap to work with.
Sad to see Peter has gone when i worked with him at Tott he was the tyre fitter,he taught me how to cut the tread on special tyres we used.Was he still living in bush hill /enfield i had been to house several times
regards mick jones
Yes, Peter was still living in Bush Hill Park. If you look on the gallery page you will find five photo’s of lorries that I have posted. There are also four photo’s (not mine) on this link. http://www.na3t.org/road?search=lebus
i remember all the vehicles but would mention that lebus had drivers that lived in Scotland myself and Ivor Thomas would go i on Sunday to make sure they all got away Peter to.Still in touch with Ivor who now lives in Canada.
do you remember ernie garnish joe
seddon jim pickavance ron vowles alan
ford mo mosely i worked with i9vor
thomas at blue dart transport has he got an e mail adress
No e mail for Igor Igor can get in touch we can give yu o an address mickjones
just to add that in one of the wagons you can just see the tailboard load ,these were done away with in the sixties
My mother, then Elizabeth Maynard, started her working life at Lebus as a shorthand typist around the outbreak of war in 1939. Her parents, Alf and Ada Maynard ran a cafe opposite the factory in Tottenham and my mother told me that during the war, the management of Lebus ate lunch in the dining room of the flat above the cafe. Once, when she stayed late to type up her “secret” Home Guard meeting minutes, Herman Lebus found her and insisted that she could type her minutes during the normal working day.
Did she have a sister Connie and brother claude known as william
Forgive the very long delay in replying Angeline. No, my mother’s sister was Doris and her brother was George.
MY GRANDFATHER WILLIAM ALFRED RAYNER WHO LIVED AT WOOD NOOK DURHAM ROAD TOTTENHAM
HAD A SON CALLED WILLIAM CHARLES RAYNER WHO WORKED AS A VENEER SAWYERS LABOURER HE DIED AGED 15 YEARS OLD OF AN ACUTE APENDICITIS ON THE 27 JUNE 1923
THE FAMILY SAID HE FELL IN A LOGGING POND THE WEEK BEFORE
PLEASE CAN YOU TELL ME ANYTHING ABOUT VENEER MAKING
My Grandmother’s maiden name was Rayner – her first name being Caroline. the family lived in Suffolk Road or Westerfield Road in West Green. She married William Christmas. She died quite young in her early 50’s which would have been in about 1953, before I was born.
Sorry I can’t help you with your question.
My father, Gerry Caldecott, worked as a lorry driver for Lebus out of Woodley in the 1970’s up until the business folding in the early 80s (1981?). He has many happy memories but hasn’t been able to get hold of many of his colleagues from that time for years. If anyone remembers him or wants to get in touch then please contact me.
Hi I believe your familey lived in Newbury while i lived in Plymouth your dad stayed with us overnight several times when delivering to Devon & Cornwall
As promised, I have now had a chance to sort out some photographs of Sir Herman Lebus and the Panda football club – can you let me know where to send them.
Thank you Margaret. I’ve added the photographs to the gallery page.
I remember going to the PANDO (Polishers and Offices) Club in Ferry Lane. the person in charge was Vera Cackett who worked in the Personnel Department with Mr Moon and Mr Lamb (Larry). We had some good Christmas get togethers there.
please has anyone got more pictures of the fleet,lebus merchandise,glenroy iworked in the workshops at ferry lane in the sixties
I have sent some lorry photos to this web site. Lebus, Merchansdise Transport and Glenroy. Look out for them in the gallery.
sorry but also new ron chazlon and john noble as john dept wasnext to the workshop
i have enjoyed reading about the lebus factory. iwas married in 1962 and had bought bedroom furniture made by lebus it consisted of continental headboard,dressing table and robette[gents wardrobe] i am happy to say i am still using the same suite today and still love it as much as i did 50 years ago.it was made to last through all the fashion changes and never lost its look. they dont make furniture like that anymore sheer quality.
i also bought bedroom suite and a dining room sweet from them i think the dining suite was called the Dunoon suite
re Lebus furniture
I wonder if my (part) wardrobe is like the one you have? I bought it at an auction (W Australia) a few years ago -and it appears to have once been part of a larger wardrobe. It has 1 decorative door (with inset carvings) 4 slide-out shelves and 3 drawers below. Mine has some (screw) marks which suggest it once belonged to another half.
I would appreciate hearing more of yours – in case I have found
a few answers to its mystery.
I was a member of the Harris Lebus Singers, a group of about 45 people who with our conductor Gerry Dowling performed on stage at the Lebus Christmas Dance held each year at The Royal, in Tottenham. We also sang at a dance hall in Bruce Gove, local clubs, a wedding and several other special events in the area. We were once requested to sing at Wormwood Scrubs by an inmate from Tottenham, the request was turned down.
Our dresses were made to measure and paid for by the Lebus family. They were very happy times.
I was still a member for many years after I left the firm . (I will try to get a photograph on the website)
Thank you Jean. I’ve added the photograph to the gallery page.
My Grandfather, and my Mother worked for Lebus. As they had a very distinctive name I wonder whether anyone can recall them? I don’t remember what they did there, and am embarrassed by how much I don’t know!
William Henry Christmas
Edith Doris Christmas
Strangely enough my husbands Mother aslo worked there Lilian Seekings.
Tottenham was rather more than a village in 1900. My grandfather , Edward Nicholson, moved into what was to become the family home in 1897. This was in Trulock Road. At that time the built up part of north Tottenham spread from Northumberland Park Station in the east to All Hallows Church in the west. South Tottenham was even more built up. North to south, there was continuous ribbon development from Stamford Hill to Snells Park.
In north Tottenham, there were a number of breweries, Charringtons, Whitbread (Bell Brewery), Fremlins in White Hart Lane and another brewery next to the railway line opposite Reform Row. Off Reform Row itself, there was an India Rubber Mill.
Tottenham had been colonised by the Romans and there is evidence of their original property boundaries in the roadways at Chestnut Road and an alley opposite alongside the old Palace cinema, Reform Row and the entry opposite which had been a road until the rail line was built, Lansdown Road and Lordship Lane and White Hart Lane and Northumberland Park. Whit Hart Lane is not opposite Northumberland Park because they were obliged to build it on the banks of the river Moselle.
As for Lebus in Ferry Lane, the well-kept football pitch was there for many years and during the fifties, I played on that pitch. We were offered excellent dressing rooms in the club house. I realise now that our opponents were the Lebus Football Club.
My Great Grandfather Thomas Fletcher Wood was a Rolls Royce chauffeur for Harris Lebus, 62/72 Tabernacle Street London around serving in the Army in WW1, I would like to know more.
Harris Lebus died in 1907. Thomas Fletcher Wood, my Grandfather, was born at the end of 1891, so would have been too young to be his chauffeur, but did later become chauffeur to his widow Sarah Lebus, though I don’t know exactly when or for how long. Sarah died in 1942.
I have no evidence, but I wonder if he may have only learned to drive during his WW1 army service.
Please see the comment I have added to the Articles/The Chauffeur section.
(PS or perhaps you meant Harris Lebus the company, not the boss man himself?)
I used to work for Harris Lebus in Tottenham, London, England as a young lady – aged 18. I was a trained comptometer operator. My status during World War II was a ‘reserved occupation’, as when Harris Lebus (a furniture company) went over to war work all my calculations were on specialist aircraft measurements on timber. The planes were probably gliders, which were made from layers of veneers, also aircraft wings for other aircraft. I have my last comptometer in my attic which is electric. Latterly, I worked for an engineering company in Buckinghamshire as their wage clerk. All calculations on wages were then on an electric comptometer, which is the one that I still have. I always thoroughly enjoyed figure work so I have fond memories of that time. Multiplication was always a challenge because you could multiply over the machine using all ten digits. Addition was, to me, delightful. Never looking at the machine and adding huge columns of figures and money calculations and at times holding a conversation with another operator! My first comp was not electric so therefore depressions were harder. Maybe through this, although I am a tiny person, I have a terrific hand span! My years of being a wage clerk, subject to audit, in the company I worked for was unbelievably accurate. The accountants would always say my work was always 99% accurate with 1% self corrected. When my company replaced my comptometer work with a computer (that I did not operate) the standards of accuracy dropped 50%! Because a computer is only as clever as the person inputting data!! I wonder how many of you agree with this? I still enjoy any opportunity to use figures. Babs Ruff (age 80) My Mum is as smart as a whip and can beat all of us with any mental arithmetic and calculations of any sort. She misses the challenge of working accurately but works quickly and intelligently on all kinds of word puzzles, especially crosswords. She is terrific. Christine Ellis (daughter)
Does your Mum recall any of her fellow workers. My grandmother worked there and I am trying to piece together her movements from Wales to London during 1944 to 1945?
I worked for Lebus of London (Export Dept of Harris Lebus) from late 1964 until early 1966. I am trying to recall the names of some of the people I worked with and knew. My overall boss was Leo A Martin (Export Manager), Bert Skinner (his No 2) who was succeeded by Adolphe F Katz ( a Frenchman). Anthony Lebus used to regularly pop into the office and was known as ‘The Ant’ !!. Danny Storer supervised despatch from Tottenham, Ron Coker made the Export packing cases, Colin Hoy was in Transport, Mr Preston was Accounts, and then there were our overseas people, Gerd Shirow in Germany, Bill Lees in Switzerland etc etc. I cannot recall the first name of Anthony Lebus’s brother- can someone enlighten me ? Also the man in charge of Administration/PR ? and the head of the upholstery division at Woodley near Reading. Lastly there was Sid Rose, (who was our next door neighbour in Chingford) who was a Foreman on the main shop floor. I remember my short period there with great affection. Thanks
Anthony brother was Oliver
My father was a foreman in various shops in Harris Lebus. He was offered a job when he lived in Hackney and after an interview was offered a post with the company in 1938. He was given a house in Walthamstow at Northcote Road – a Warners house of three floors – not to be seen anywhere but that street. He was then called up for the second world war and my mother and my fathers father lived there for 40 years . I can well remember all the Grey removal type lorries that covered the country. We also had parties that were organised for us children at the plant. I remember my dad being sent to Sweden with a party to look at this new product called chipboard not realising that the world would change from solids to chip and block. I also was given a tour of the plant for foremans families and seeing the continual moving belts covered with furniture moving around the factory. I believe my father ended up in the mill and machine shop. I also had vivid memories of having got married and because my father was staff my wife and I were allowed to go to Madock Street in the West End and purchase all our wedding furniture. You were nobody in the British Isls if you did not have a bedroom Suite. Today a thing of the past – we must have been one of the last generation to have one as they are no longer part of ones passage. Charlie Wybrow was his name. He stayed until the very end and had to issue the redundancies and eventually as is this case virtually had to sack himself. My best friends mother also worked thee during the war and her job was to spray the windscreens of mock up army lorroes to look like glass. There where a group of brothers called the Lutzs brothers who worked there in various shops. They formed aa rowing club at Tottenham Spring Hill called Crowland Rowing Club. They got mmy father to join my brother and I and we blossomed there and found a sport that fitted us. I well remember then that the barges were still being used f or wood transportation and being pulled by small diesel barges that we had to dodge in our eights. We would train by rowing from Harris Lebus at Tottenham to old Ford which was a long way avoinding many untied barges that were untied for a prank but no condusive to ones health. Harris Lebus was a great chance for our father to progress his family and we still now move forward from those great beginnings as did ,any Eastenders.
my father was ernie lutz who founded crowland rowing club with his brothers , he is now 94 years old and living in ramsgate kent
Hi Mick – I will not have met you but I certainly remember your dad.He coached me at Crowland with his brothers but your dad did most. I rowed with Crowland until I went into the RAF on national service and then rowed with the airforce and went back to Crowland after the service. He has certainly reached a good old age. Tomorrow I am in fact having dinner with an old Crowland man we used to call the major – Fred Humphries – he is now 82 and going strong. Wer both went to Henley last week to see the burial of a Crowland boy John Brockway he joined Leander club as boatman and his coffin was carried by Steve Regrave and the England Rowing Eight. Just shows you how Tottenham boy makes good. Regards Terry
Thanks for the reply its always interesting to get some information on my father.
unfortunetly my father passed away on the 20th january 2014 aged 94.
He would have been very interested in seeing your post.
Sorry to hear that Mick – I shall pass it on to Crowland members I still meet. I am sure he is in a golden scull rowing up there with his brothers – Terry
Terry Wybrow, Have seen your comments referring to Crowland RC, the Lutz brothers etc and I would like to know if you have any remembrance of the Excel R C and/or my brother, Reginald Lou Raven a member of Excel from 1936 to 1957. when Excel ceased to be my brother b.1918 d.2003 Cliff Raven
hi cifford i would love to see the photos. i should be able to confirm one way or another.
Terry, My brother Reginald “Lou” Raven left his rowing photo album in which there is a picture of himself and his fellow crew members one of whom is an E.Lutz the year is 1938. I also have a picture of the Excel Rowing Club members 1937 in the front sitting cross legged is a young boy dressed in white who looks very like the E. Lutz in my brother’s crew picture, also I have seen in a book a picture of the four Lutz brothers Ernie, Lenny, Ron, and Wally. Can yo confirm if this E. Lutz is one and the same E. Lutz in the three pictures, I could Email them to you if I had your email. My interest is purely for my Brothers Rowing career history and of course your own interest in your own family. sincerely Cliff Raven
Hi Cliff – only just looked back at site – see thet you spoke to Mick Lutz so I presume you are up to date. I do remember Excel but not any of the members when I rowed for Crowland they were rather a large elite club and EWxcel was one of the many smaller clubs that had rooms for their club house. Like Iris – London Transport – Warwick etc. All once had their day but in the 1950s times had changed. It is now of course Lea Rowing all one club for rowing on the Lea. I met lots of old members at the funeral of Fred Johnson last week a life long member of the Crowland Club and a great friend of the Lutz brothers a little boy cox to start with. Hope you get more information – Regards Terry
Sorry Mick my earlier reply to yours I called you Terry, sorry for that, the message remains the same though, have further read now that E. Lutz has passed away in 2014 and also I have contacted a Dennis Lutz on FB giving the same info on E.Lutz is he a relation of yours he has a striking resemblance to your grandfather.
Hi Terry, my dad is John Coquard i think he might be your cousin. If you get this message and recognise the name could you email me.
Hi Terry, just out of interest i am just starting research into my family tree and have come across a Charles P Wybrow who married a Elizabeth Smith. Just wondered if that could be Charlie. My grandfather was Ernest Joseph Wybrow and came from Hendon area.
High Richard – no my father was certainly a Charlie Wybrow but he married my mother Amy Shepherd. Charles was from an East End family of Wybrows – Bethnel Green and Shorditch. My Grandad was also a Charles Wybrow – he had sisters Polly and Lou and brotheres Fred Bon Ted – if i can be of help do not hesitate to E.
This was indeed a company who treated it’s employees very well. My maternal grandfather worked there as a joiner and my grandmother was a french polisher. My mother and father met whilst working there and my father went on to build gliders during WW2.
I wonder if any of your readers (probably the children of the people who worked at Lebus) may remember my grandfather Albert Sullivan, his wife was called Ivy and they had one child my mother Doreen.
Hi Julie, did your grandparents emigrate to New Zealand by any chance? My Grandad – Leslie Harcourt, often spoke of his colleague who moved to NZ, and I think his name was Albert…
I worked for over 30 years in the Tottenham factory until it closed and was sold to the GLC. I started off as a progress chaser in the production control team in 1941. After the war I returned in 1948 and worked my way up doing many jobs including warehouse and despatch manager, deputy customer service manager. During one spell I worked in the mixing shop for polishes and lacquers. I was involved in the introduction of computers there under George Robey and also remember the introduction of Lampson Paragon overhead communication wires and tubes. I knew many many people (I especially remember the Worman family) as I covered the shop floor all of the time and was eventually requested to go to Woodley Upholstry works in Berkshire to take over customer service. I left there in 1975. I knew all of the Lebus family – Sir Herman and all his offspring! They were wonderful people to work for and my last association with them was with Oliver Lebus who was a family friend. I corresponded with him until the 1980s after which time we sadly lost contact. It has been a wonderful surprise to find this website – I am currently writing my memoirs and it has sparked off alot more memories.
Hi Stan I could be wrong but i seem to remember you were somthing to do with design at Woodley if so i think i bought your old company car a gold 2lt ford console auto on the say so of Ralph Thompson saying it was a good buy
I worked as your typist 1963/1964 in dispatch and met my husband Ernie who also came to work in the department. It was really nice to read your article which brought back a lot of memories. we have been married nearly fifty years and live in Essex Way Benfleet.
I was with Lebus of London Ltd (the Export Dept of Harris Lebus) from late 1964 until 1966 (about 18 months).
I knew Anthony and Oliver Lebus quite well as they often came into our office. I also knew John Lebus at Eventide Bedding in the City as he was a member of the same TA Regiment as I was (and still am !). I am trying to remember the name of the Managing Director of the plant at Woodley near Reading where they made the upholstery. I know his first name was Ken but the surname escapes me. Can anyone assist ?
That was my father Ken Nash who joined Lebus in the 1950’s and left in 1967. I remember meeting Leo Martin on one occasion and Gerd Shirow several times. He often visited my parents and kept in touch with them for many years. Ken died in 2006.
Richard, Thank you very much – yes indeed – Ken Nash. Believe he was an ex Army officer. On one occasion we all went over to Amsterdam for a furniture fair – I was under 20 at the time and had only been abroad once. Leo Martin and Ken Nash were very kind to me and ensured that I was taken ‘in hand’ ! All good wishes.
Gerry, Yes he was in the army during the war. It’s been interesting to read your messages. All the best.
Hi Richard you did not say that you father went on to start up Nash Line furniture in about 1967 with some of the Lebus drivers going with him including Bill Stokes Ray Perrin Peter Woolgar and several others Kens factory started off on London rd /Silver st junction .Hope this is all correct as the memory gets vague.
Yes that’s correct! Then later on he left ‘Nash Line’ to start ‘Nash Form’ in Greyfriars Road near Reading Station, joined by George Chaplin and others.
I was very interested to read all these comments. My dad, Harry Tallman, a cabinet-maker was sent to Lebus’s to work on the prototype Mosquito with the designers. They occupied a screened-off part of the factory and had security passes. I have often looked at photos of the workers and hoped to see my father, but without success. After the war he was dismissed as all the previous workers who came back from the war were re-employed and he went back to employment in small family workshops in Bethnal Greenl alas! He would have had a much better time had be been able to stay with Lebus.
During WW2 my Mother worked on building the Mosquitos. Her job was to cut, with a bandsaw, shapes from templates from large sheets of plywood. She was a dressmaker and was used to alligning patterns to get more from the material and won prizes for getting more from her sheets of ply. My Father drove a trailer lorry, very few of them in those days. He would go to the loading bay every evening, just before six o`clock and pick up the fuselage and wings to take to De Haviland for fitting. Looking back it`s quite amusing. He had to pick up before six as the gateman went home. At the time it was double summer time so didn`t get dark until about eleven o`clock and he was only allowed to drive to De Haviland when it was dark. Between six and eleven, the lorry with it`s cargo, albeit with camoflage tarpaulin, sat outside our house! I have a picture of him with the last Mosquito as seen in the book History of the Mosquito.
Thank you Muriel. I’ve added the photograph to the gallery page.
During the late 1960’s – 1970’s, I was a claims inspector with an insurance company (National Employers’ Mutual) and was concerned with the investigation of industrial accidents at Harris Lebus and Gestetner. I am afraid that I have no technical information about these companies. As far as Harris Lebus is concerned, I do recall that the older wood working machinists did not consider themselves as fully experienced until they had lost the tips of one or more fingers operating band saws and the like. The shortened fingers were displayed as badges of honour.
When I started to visit Lebus, the older factory to the south of Ferry lane was in the process of being sold and later developed with local authority housing. The manufacturing processes were wholly transferred to the later north buildings. There was a tunnel under Ferry Lane connecting the two plants. Upholstered furniture was made at Woodley, near Reading.
I’m trying to trace a lady called Connie Wiltshire who lived in Tottenham around 1945. I don’t know whether this was her maiden name and I also don’t know for how many years she lived here. She was short with dark hair and was evacuated to Wales at least twice during the war. She had about 2-3 children and her husband was a chemist. Even if none of you have heard of her, I realise this is a long shot, I wondered if I could possibly get more info on chemists working in this area at that time. I posted on this site as there may be a small possibility that she also worked at the factory at some point.
They were a very good firm to work for and my time employed there was extremely happy. I worked for John Brant and Alf Penny, but recall no other names (after all I was only 18/19, so many, many years ago!). I married (in 1956) during my employment there and, as was the custom, my desk was decorated, and I arranged afternoon tea for my close friends there on the day before my wedding, prior to going on my annual two weeks leave (or rather my honeymoon on this occasion).
I recall the social club and the dances that were held. Also during the winter months sometimes an announcement was made that fog was rolling in which allowed those who needed to catch buses to leave early. The fog certainly did roll in across the water and I did have the odd occasion when I had to walk home (in high heeled shoes) to Walthamstow.
I worked for Harry Lebus from 1964 to 1971, first as a driver then in management. Percy Mountier was the transport manager, Freddy Forest the general manager and dick was the transport supervisor, Colin Hoy came later.
We had a Scottish team of Syd Smith and Ian McCorkan from Dundee, and Lyka Lyka from Aberdeen, I can’t remeber the others.
The London team were Kit King, Dave Moresay and Paddy Deacy, Ian Marshall and Pat O’Brien from north east.
When I started we took delivery of 11 TK Bedfords from Arlington Trucks, ALR 782 B to ALR 792 B, all the drivers clamored for control of one of the new trucks, one of these was Mr Smith of Tring who is now a large truck and bus operator.
Bad mistakes made in early 70’s through the all new Lebus Europa range led to large losses and redundancies along with large insurance claims. 6 drivers being killed and other serious injuries in 3 years resulted in the sale of the main factory (which is now a housing estate) and production center at old distribution site.
By 1071 merchandise transport was generally carrying more products for competition than Lebus itself. I moved on at this time along with hundreds of others.
This was a truly great firm to work for, great history, great pals, really enjoyed the experience.
Lots more information if anyone interested.
Mr M T Nottingham (aged 70)
Sorry amendment to above, should read Harris Lebus, the London Team should be Dave Mordacay, another driver Mr Smith of Tring became one of the large truck and bus drivers in the area, the date should read not 1071 but 1970.
Once again sorry for mistakes.
Pat o’Brian and Syd Smith were two of the drivers who moved to the Walthamstow factory after Tottenham closed. They were still with Lebus when the operation moved to Halifax in 1980 and were made redundent when all the drivers were sacked in March 1981 and the remaining lorries taken over by Pickfords just before PMA, who had taken over Lebus finally collapsed. I exchanged Christmas cards with Pat until his death around 1990
Mr Smith of Tring would be Geoff Smith who also became a Director of Watford Football Club and served alongside Elton John who brought in Graham Taylor as manager
I have a Harris Lebus oak gate leg table. I did not know that until today. I looked up the round brass insignia in the drawer, and then sat and read related articles on the computer for hours. I was absolutely fascinated by the stories and photos. I was prepared to sell the table at a consignment shop, but now I may just keep it. It is in near perfect condition, and I would not know what to charge if I did decide to sell it. I really enjoyed the web site.
I worked at Lebus from late 1958 until about 1967. At that time my Father Ted Goffin, Sister Sylvia and Cousin Ron Turton also worked there. I trained as a colour sprayer and worked with many other women on the furniture lines. My Manager was Mr Jack Day and the charge hands were Reg, Harry and Alf. I often wondered if I was entitled to a Lebus pension? I have many happy memories of going to the childrens Xmas parties when I was younger and the many friends that I made when I worked there.
I am trying to trace a great great grandfather who used to work for Lebus. His name was Michael Goldstein and worked in Tabernacle street Shordich. I think he cut the top of his finger off. Not sure at work or not. He came over to UK from Romania 1902/3 and lived in High Cross. Can you help in anyway to shine a light on any more info. Do you have an employee book or list? Anything would be wonderful.
Hi. I’m the great-grandson of Harris Lebus. My grandmother – who died before I was born – was Phyllis Adele Lebus, son of Harris. She married a professor of English, Bernard Wright. The only member of the family I met was Marjorie (who is mentioned in another post), who died in about 1984 at a great age. She too married a professor, Alec Mace. It’s fascinating to read all of these stories – thank you.
I’d like to know more about Harris Lebus himself, and his father Solomon. I don’t know if there are any other photographs of them floating around, or stories as to what they were like as people. I’d be very interested. I’d also like to see some photographs of Sarah Lebus, Harris Lebus’ wife.
As a child living and attending school in Tottenham from 1945 to 1955 I can remember the Harris Lebus factory at Tottenham Hale. One of the things that my brother and i, together with other friends did, was to utilise some of the discarded outer boards from the timer yard (timber was seasoned outdoors in those days) to make “Paddle-boards” which we used to punt about on the canal. We cannot lay claim to being the original “Paddle-boarders”, which has become a craze of today, as I am sure this method of water transport was used in primitive times!
I believe my Great Grandfather Thomas Bessent was working for you at Tottenham during the last war. He was moved with his family to Watford to look after the furniture etc that was being stored. Any information gratefully received either memories of him or details of his work or the move.
Still looking for this information
I have some vivid memories of Harris Lebus. I had a brother-in-law who worked there at time I got married and some of our first ever items of furniture came from Lebus’s (about 1956) real quality stuff which he was able to get for us at a great discount. We still have a side-board, in fantastic condition. In 1939 at outbreak of war, Broad Lane was packed with people making their way to the many factories in Broad Lane – Harris Lebus of course, Gestetners, Keith Blackmans (my sister worked there for many years), Dickinsons, Eagle Pencil, and several others. I know Harris Lebus turned over to building aircraft frames at outset of war – for the famous Mosquito fighter/bomber. Round about 1944 when I and most of my mates left school, many of them were directed to either Gestetners or Harris Lebus for jobs. I actually had my first job wit J.A.P. Motors (J.A. Prestwich) in Northumberland Park at time when Blitz on London ended and we were facing the V1’s doodlebugs, and V2 rockets.
Would anyone remember a Roy Wysling who worked there about 1953?
John Harvey (83 now, living in Bush Hill Park, Enfield) with my wife.
Can I just ask you who this brother in law was that you mentioned. Wasn’t someone called Todd Shotbolt was it?
I spoke to one of my customers in Paris, Philip Parnell is the owner of Maples in Paris, because I recently joined Lebus as Director of Sales he was telling me that his father who is now in his nineties once worked at the London Factory.
I thought you would appreciate this information
We lived with my grandmother who was not in good health. My dad worked at Lebus Furniture Factory in Tottenham and would cycle every day to work. Then he came into some money and bought a car. In the harsh winters of those days he would stick a small oil lamp under the car so that it would not freeze. Horror – he even stockpiled petrol in the shed during the Suez Crisis but only a small can. Christmas was Christmas in those days. Buying would start when the “Loan Club” paid out a few weeks before Christmas. I fondly remember Edmonton market stalls – lovely brown paper carrier bags with string handles. Mum would put the Christmas nuts behind the chair and Fido, our dog, would pinch them! Woolworths was certainly the shop in those days before supermarkets and shopping centres. How we respected our school teachers – and the stigma of the cane or ‘getting your name put in the book’. We would all march to the swimming baths in the middle of winter to get cramp in the deep end – then not dry ourselves properly and get chapped knees! But childhood is short. I went off to Tottenham Technical College for Secretarial Training then to work. One of my jobs was at Klinger Manufacturing in Upper Edmonton – the old Workhouse. Edmonton was my birthplace. How many of us still remember our Co-op number – a must in those days to get Mum’s divi – but we can’t remember what we did yesterday. Fond, fond memories.
Rosemary Moore, daughter of Eileen and William Moore, sister to Douglas Moore.
I worked at Lebus in 1941 It was my first job they were making fusalages for Spitfires
Hi Gladys, I wonder if you recall my father, Leonard Wilfred Hyland? He worked at Harris Lebus during WW2 as a draughtsman. He worked on drawings for the iconic mosquito plane.
His father, Edward Hyland Robert Hyland also worked for Harris Lebus as a French Polisher I believe. He was fired for siding with the workers over a ‘dispute’. He must have been in a foreman’s position at the time.
Len Hyland lived in Woodford Green.
I live in Canada now, but I grew up in Tiverton, Devon, in the 1950s and 1960s. My father owned and ran a number of businesses there, including a large furniture store. I recall the Lebus vans delivering furniture regularly.
As I wrote on the website, though, I was wondering if you knew more about the Hotspur connection. As you note, Lebus was well-known to be a German Jewish immigrant family. As their business grew, they hired 100s of Jews in their Tottenham furniture factories. Presumably, many of these workers became fans of local football club, Tottenham Hotspur. This core fan-base is likely one of the reasons Spurs have historically attracted strong Jewish support. Lebus produced the Hotspur glider in WW II. Do you know if the family had a say in naming the plane, and if so, was it named after the football club?
My late father, William Gimson, joined Harris Lebus in May 1929 when he was 18. His first two years were spent as driver of the post van, but he subsequently became Company Chauffeur. He was made redundant around 1969(.?) when the business was being reorganised. At one time he was Secretary of the tennis club.
I think he mostly drove L.S.Lebus and visited many places with him, including Delft from where he brought home three Delft tiles which I still have.
I believe the Company paid the house mortgage whilst he was in the R.A.F. during WW2 and they held his job for him on his return.
I remember the annual Company dances at one of which, to my great embarrassment, i was asked to dance by L.S.Lebus.
I have only recently thrown away the furniture catalogues from which as a young child I used to cut pictures to make into a scrapbook….a sort of 2D dolls’ house.
I have only just discovered that my great uncle Edmund (Ned) Zala worked for Lebus and was mentioned as someone who helped on the Dolls House.
If you would be so kind, could anyone tell me anything about him. I did not have the opportunity to meet him as my branch of the family lives in Canada.
Thank you so much in advance.
I’ve recently found that my great grandfather, Reuben James Huggett and some of his sons worked for Harris Lebus during the early 1900s. The sons that I know worked for Harris Lebus are Ernest Andrew Huggett and Reuben James Huggett Jr.
I’ve managed to find from some of your pictures that Ernest Andrew Huggett received a commemorative watch for his service for the company. If you’re able to provide me with any further information about the Huggett family and/or provide me with any pictures, that’ll be great!
I too have Reuben James Huggett [senior; there was a son also called Reuben James] as my great grandfather. I also knew Ernest Andrew Huggett when I was a youngster. His watch was left to me. Several of the sons worked for Lebus at various times. My mother says that Reuben [senior] was some sort of manager there but he died in 1935 aged 62.
I have asked Mustapha to put us in touch so that we can swap information and pictures of our relatives.
All the best, Derek.
One thing I do recall about my late father (Jack Williams) was that he and a colleague called Bob Furness used to produce a magazine called the Lebus Log. It included various newsy bits and always had one of Bob’s amusing cartoons.
I remember Jack Williams being an inspector in the mill and Bob Furness from the drawing office also the Lebus Log but it was Jack who I knew better as being an apprentice in the mill would often get jack to pass my work and being a cheeky lad would torment Jack with plenty of banter which he would return all in good fun and when I finished my apprenticeship he stamped my forehead in approval of qualifying as a fully fledged wood machinist.
I know this site is all about the Lebus co. but is there anyone who worked at the Eagle Pencil Co. in Tottenham Hale about 1942-1949 would love to know. I worked there 7years thought I was so clever to use Elliot Fisher Accounting machine(now I use iPhone & ipad). We had German Prisoners of War Working there during the war and were brought in by the military to work sometimes. Used to cycle to work from White Hart lane estate sometimes during air raids. But still only remember Happy times.
I am interested in the company Lebus that produced furniture; from what I had read on different sites I cannot find any information about the employees who designed the furniture.
I have been told that a gentleman by the name of Edward George Vincent to whom I am related was involved in this sphere, is there any information available to public perusal
Hi my name is Debbie O’Connor and i live in Western Australia.My Grandad Benjamin Nuckley and my Great Grandad Thomas Lyus both worked for your company in the 1930’s and possibly the 1940’s.I’m am trying to research my family tree and i was wondering if you would have any copies of their work records still.Myself and my Mum would love any help you may be able to give us.My Mum Kathleen remembered your company’s name but unfortunately we have no other information as my Grandad died in 1955 and my Great Grandad in 1963(both a long time before I was born).Thank you for anything you can do for us.
I too am fascinated by the Lebus story ever since I started work at the finsbury works in Ferry Lane N.18. I started as an apprentice wood machinist in 1962 after an interview and a test carried out by Mr Moon in the personnel offices and attended the technical college in Forest Road Walthamstow on day release.
My introduction to M/C shop was an eye opener and I was introduced to my first foreman Charlie Whybrow who looked after my welfare boy was he tall but not intimitating a really nice bloke always had a glint in his eye and during my time there we shared many a laugh . Stan Bright was the then manager who was more serious in nature
My father was also working there he was one of the foreman in the warehouse his name was Robert ( BOB ) Barnes.
When I finished my apprenticeship I became an all rounder and floated around too wherever I was needed not just machining but also in the toolrooms sharpening cutters and setting the profile blocks or in the saw shop sharpening and setting the saws aswell as repairing broken bandsaws and on occassion helping out in T1.
I was there untill 1970 but did rejoin later in Forest Road Walthamstow which was very Heath Robinson in production methods but the lebus spirit always prevailed I’ll close now , so many memories , great blokes to work with and a great firm to have worked for.
Hi Barrie – nice to see your letter in the magazine. I am Terry Wybrow eldest son of Charlie Wybrow – I have written a few comments earlier on in this dosier. My dad was tall as you said but us three sons are even taller. He died some years ago after Lebus closed he and my mother opened a stall in Walthamstow market selling haberdashery and they were as happy as sandboys until they finished their shift in this world. They ended up living in Harold Wood. He was a great dad and opne to be proud of. If you want any more info let me know. Thanks for your comments – Terry
Hi , my grandad worked for Lebus for many years, he made furniture for princess annes dollshouse whilst working there and also made tiny replica,s of all the furniture before they were turned into the proper item , sadly he passed away in 1989 but he had great memories of the factory and the work carried out there, his name was Les Brown
My late Grandad – Les Harcourt worked for the Lebus Brothers in the 1950’s and 60’s I think. If anyone knows or remembers him I’d be very pleased to hear from you!
Thanks mr sulleman for Dutch a good site I left Lexus at ferry lane in 1970 leaving many friends and good memories I am still going strong at 70 last vehicle I had was Clh672H a non Luton Tk wonder if the tunnel under ferry lane where the finished furniture came from factory to distribution depot still exists cross over where it was regular love to here from anyone who may still remember myself again thanks
CLH672H lasted until 1978 when the remaining Tottenham vehicles were sold off and replaced with new TK Bedfords with demountable bodies
hi michael do you remember fred forrest transsport manager
ernie garnish joe seddon mo mosely jim pickavance jack jackso
my self george bassett
My father Ernie Messenger worked for Lebus as a cabinet maker from when he left school in 1927 until 1969 when the factory closed. I recall going to the children’s parties at Xmas in the social club. I think I remember the seating being in large semicircles…but I do have a clear memory of being told not to go over to one table because they ‘weren’t very nice men’, and they were the Kray twins
After the factory closed my dad first went to University College, then to Kings College as a maintenance carpenter. The experience of going from being a factory worker to a university employee transformed him….he enjoyed travelling round to work in different contexts and having to solve the problems that old buildings presented. He used to speak about how some academics ignored him, others wanted advice for a ‘little job’ they were doing at home. At Kings he enjoyed meeting Lord Richard Harries, who was then Dean of the College, and later became Bishop of Oxford. Dad would talk about their conversations, and listen to him on Thought for the Day on R4.
My parents lived just north of White Hart Lane, off the A10 in Edmonton until 1974, when they moved to Hertford, another transformatory experience. They loved living in such an identifiable community instead of suburbia. I doubt whether they would have done so if the factory had not closed, so although 1969 was an awful experience for everyone, there were some positive outcomes.
I wonder what other Lebus employees did afterwards, and how the closure impacted on individuals and families?
I am researching my wife’s family tree and have recently learned that her great uncle Ian Campbell Forbes worked as a cabinet maker with Harris Lebus for many years. Unfortunately that is all I know.
Do you know if there are any employment records etc. in existence. If so. Would there be any way that they may be made available to family researchers such as myself. An extra link on your fascinating web site, for example.
Thank you for your time,
Hi, my great uncle Herbert Barnes worked for Lebus from the 1930s to about 1960 when he retired. He was a mechanical engineer. I was amazed to see him in the WW2 photograph of the management team by an aircraft fuselage in your gallery. I would love to hear if anyone has heard of him or what position he held in the firm. I know he visited the USA on an extended business trip for Lebus in 1947 but I don’t know in what connection or what links Lebus had with USA at that time. I believe he also may have written travel articles for the Lebus log under the pen name Vincent Morsley. I visited him often as a child and now realise that his house was full of Lebus furniture – I recognise many pieces from your photographs. I do remember he once showed me a piece of furniture which converted into something else – possibly a chair into a side table. I haven’t seen anything like this in the catalogues – perhaps it was experimental and never went into production. I don’t know if he designed it. Does anyone know anything about this?
I would be grateful for any information.
I worked for John Lebus back in the 1970’s. What a wonderful man, i learned so much from working with him. Reading that Lebus Furniture was the largest factory in the world does not surprise me knowing how John ran his business.
My mum, Carol Coleman, worked there in the 1960s whilst my dad was doing his PhD in Chemistry at Queen Mary College, London University!!
My grandfather Harris was a cabinet maker / furniture maker, operating in Noth London before and between the Wars. He had a shop in Palmer’s Green. Francis/Frank Harris died in the mid fifties. Our family believe that he had a close connection with Heal’s department store. We would like to hear from anyone who can tell us more about Grandfather and/or the furniture business at that time. Many thanks for any help.
My dad, Ronald James Loveday was a Zone Manager at the Tottenham factory for at least 40 years. He died in 1969 after a short illness when I was 17. I wondered if you had any information on his time with Lebus.
Hi, My great grandfather was Daniel Prentice 1881-‘1915. I understand from my grandfather, and various websites,that Daniel was Harris Lebus best friend, and that Daniel helped Harris set up the Tottenham factory as his business partner. Harris died in 1907 and my great grandfather Daniel during WW1 in 1915. Can anyone tell me anything more about this partnership please ? Many thanks Kerry
Fantastic site. I’ll dig out a photo of my father, Len Hyland who worked with HL as a draughtsman during WW2. The photo is taken in the office where he worked on the Mosquito.
Hi. My grandfather, Harold Edwin Mitchell worked for Lebus’s in the 1920s I think. I have pictures of him and fellow workers in the wood yard which I can send to you as jpegs if you’d like them? Best wishes. Paul
My paternal grandfather, Joseph Siberon Ambrose, worked as a french polisher or cabinet maker for Harris Lebus sometime during the 1940s, possibly earlier. My Dad can remember going with his Mum (my grandmother) on pay day to get housekeeping money from him in the 40s. I believe my gg grandfather (Joseph Ambrose) worked there too but I don’t know when.
Is there any way I could find out more about them and the jobs they used to do?
I have bought three antique Lebus Barristers Bookcases over the last ten years. They grace the house and are classics- ageless and timeless. Thank you for the Lebus designs and for the work at this famous factory. The support mentioned on the web site for the war effort was tremendous. Thanks to all. Marcus Bleasdale. Liverpool.
Appreciate your contribution to this web site. My father (Bill Death) left Lebus Tottenham Hale in 1965 after the float, emigrating to Australia after 41 years service at that place. Possibly because my father was in what we would call a Logistics role (these days) I recall the name ‘Mr Alex Alexander’ who may have been the owner of Alexander Transport who may have contracted to Lebus. I do remember a few of the Christmas parties and circus outings and have a few of pictures somewhere in stored boxes, if I locate them they may be of interest to others (circa 1955 to 60). I will endeavour to submit them.
Hi iv no photos sadly I worked on the loading bay with Arnold Stevens .natham Lowe .fred Potts was security of some sort .ralph Thompson was transport manager other names Doug gee George Braine bill fenelly richard Clements Vick illsley his brother Fred illsley Len turner jack Ellis Gilbert Dennis Gordon Lee happy times .
My family worked for Harris Lebus for many years. My Dad Bill Frederick Wright of Welbourne rd Tottenham. He was a Shop Steward for 38yrs. Nearly all the family and relations worked at Harris Lebus. Stanley Wright was a top french polisher. Eric Chapman who married my sister Pat Wright was also a top polisher. My Sister Peggy worked there during the war.
I can remember back to the late 70s early 80s going into the lebus yard at reading as 5/6 year old and my dad dropping/swapping bodies. I think the yard was based next to a bread distribution site? Also the delivering of furniture by himself which looking back on it must have been very hard and the box of maps in the cab that he used for finding his delivery spots a far cry from sat nav you get now! I have no photos but it was a memory joy to see the pictures of the blue and white lorries. My father was mick tanner and my uncle,Pete cropper who both worked there for a good,few years in the 70s early 80s.
A great website. My father (Desmond Stratton) worked at HL for 42 years from 1924 until he retired. He started as a general office worker aged 15 and worked up to become joint managing director. I remember the Christmas parties and Dad regularly going off to Remploy. If anybody remembers him I would love to hear from them.
Mr Herman Lebus visited the USA in 1944 to observe their manufacturing techniques to improve the manufacturing processes of the Harris Lebus company,in the construction of the Mosquito aircraft. The British Government correspondence and the itinery are documented in file AVIA 15/3415, lodged at the National Archives, Kew.
I worked at lebus on the lorries 1956 until 1968 it was a varied fleet bedfords o and a models albion claymores and chieftains inially we worked outside when production moved to the new warehouse a garage was built for us by the old loading bays
Interesting to read the history. My dad, Anthony Wise worked for Lebus in late 50s and early 60s.
I remember Anthony (Tony ) Wise very well. He was one of the brightest people in marketing and it was a loss to the company when he left to become the MD of Collins and Hayes. Collins and Hayes prospered but very sadly I believe Tony died while still relatively young.
when furniture broke in the factory, Oliver Lebus used to bring somem to my husband Gerry Collins at his shop in New Kings Road, Chelsea, for it to be repaired.m This would have been in the late 1960’s I would think.
I worked at lebus 1956 to 1968 employed as hgv fitter on their fleet
initiailly we worked outside then a workshop was built for us the fleet
was mainly bedfords also albion chieftans and claymores
My wife bought me a beautiful gold antique watch made by Garrard which is inscribed on the rear:
“Presented to WH Webb by Harris Lebus LTD for long and loyal service 1925-1964”
He obviously worked during much of the golden period of the company, but do you know who he was and where he worked? The watch turned up in a jeweller in Grantham and is exceptionally nice, and it would be nice to know something of the man who earned it with so many years hard work.
I wrote to you a few years ago, and have been fascinated with the messages on this site. I reside in Ft Myers Beach, Florida, and have a beautiful Harris Lebus oak gate leg table with side drawers and storage beneath. I wonder how it got to Florida? I bought it in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania at an antique sale. Wpuld anyone know what it is worth in dollars? I bought it 35 years ago for $300.00
My father Philip Smith worked on factory layouts at Lebus in the 1950’s. Up until the day he died he spoke fondly of his time working at Lebus. He spoke of how advanced the methods and processes were for that time. The company obviously had a profound effect on people who worked there.
My Father Ernie Barrett worked at Lebus as a cabinet maker since he was a young boy, he also worked on the royal dolls house and my Sister was there when they presented it, and instead of putting her name of Valerie in the paper they wrote fanny Barret she was not amused, if anyone remembers the year I would dearly love a copy of that paper as we lost our darling mother Ruby BARRETT not long after that and Ernie had to leave to look after us 7 children, but he always spoke of the times at Lebus, please reply if anyone knew Ernie, thank you
Sir/Madam,i am researching my family history and I would be grateful if you have any records concerning the Daughters family that worked in the Lebus factory in Tottenham in which there were many going back to the eary 1900 hundreds,yours faithfully Chris Daughters.
Spent many hours in lebus lorys as a youny boy dad drove for lebus for many tears both in London and woodley. He was on the wick and Thurso run very happy dsys
i have just read an article in the enfield independent about charlie
coward ex sgt major in 2nd word war i think he worked in the timber
field at lebus he is up for an award does anywon remember him
He is in Wikipedia and a film was made about his exploits called ‘ password is courage’ starring Dirk Bogarde
Hope this helps
Hi i remember my dad Bill Mason talking about him , my dad worked in the mill along the riverside , he was there from about 1932 ish till they closed down , he went ti war and returned to his job after ,
I worked in the Leicester showroom in 1963,Harold Brown was the manager and local rep.the rule was that when you had completed a minimum of two years as showroom sales you could be considered as rep for the company.Unfortunately Lebus employed an american team to update the company,and the first thing to go was the local showrooms.leicester being the first. i could have transfered to Birmingham but decided to return to my previous employer, who was the largest outlet for Lebus in the area.we took a least two full van loads a week ,one from Tottenham,and one from Woodley .A Lebus stock check had to be done first thing Monday morning as the rep would be in at 10 a.m.to collect the top up order for the week.I understand we sold nearly as much Lebus furniture as the mail order firms
My late father purchased a bedroom suite at the Ideal Home Exhibition. It was ex display. Absolutely beautiful. What a shame that we now need to sell it as my mother is going into a care home.
I wonder if anyone remembers the Sadgrove brothers who worked at Lebus in Ferry lane before the last war and after! Stan Sadgrove was my dad he worked as a sheet metal worker, with his brothers Ernie and Stevie. Dads best friend was Dickie Richards. I remember the brilliant Christmas parties the company laid on for the employees children, and the celebrations for the Queens coronation. Dad had an apprentice called Davey who used to ‘babysit’ my sister and I when dad and mum went to one of the firms famous dances. I have some good pictures some where will put them on if I can find them.
Very interesting – my father Reg Ruskin worked for Lebus from 1923 to 1962 – mainly in the sanding shop – I wonder if there’s anyone left that would remember him? Additionally my partner’s father was an American GI who piloted gliders we believe to have been built in Tottenham Hale!!
I started work at Lebus’s 29th Dec. 1949, having just completed my National Service in the Royal Air Force. Having taken the Company’s ‘Late Entry’ Scheme I went straight into HJ Shop where I worked under Chaim Schhreiber making the revolutionary range, which was all stuck together with resin glue cured by Radio Frequency. Then I went into 22 shop and 12 shop on various jobs. Became a Work Study Engineer and finished up working in various other Firms around Tottenham and the East End. I am currently submitting a series of articles for ‘Woodworker Magazine’ about my experiences at HL. I was introduced to Michael, a grandson pf Sir Herman, who wished to know something more about his Grandfather,for he had never met him. I very much liked Sir Herman who, on his occasional journeys around the Factory, would often stop and chat with me for maybe 20 or 39 minutes about all kinds of subjects. Even though it actually cost me money (being on piecework) I considered it my privilege (in retrospect) even though I didn’t think about the cash then. Lebus taught me the trade and more so, having always earned well as a result, I am proud to say, “I am a Lebus Boy!”
I dont know if this is a wild goose chase or not. I worked in Harris Lebus in their Finance Dept in the mid to late 60s as an auditor for the Uk under Mr Thornton who was the Managing Director. He was a great person to work under.I was in their pension plan and have been trying to find out how to make a claim for my pension without any success. Is there anyone who knows how I can claim my pension or is there anyone out there getting a pension or not. I know it is a long time ago but I would welcome any information on this.
I receive a Lebus pension through legal and general
I had a blue certificate which I presented
The pension is worth £11.00 a year for employment from 1960 to 1966.
I wish you success
I worked in design development and the drawing office
So many lovely memories of the Lebus empire. Of course, they were such big employers and all those I knew who worked there were very happy and were so well looked after – just like family. My father, Jim Hills drove the lorries to and from the docks picking up the trees to be made into furniture. In those days (early 1950’s to 1960’s) there were no containers and all the wood had to be craned and manhandled from the ships to the docks and chained onto the flatbed lorries. My uncles Arthur Carrington and Sidney Duvall also worked there until, I think, the factory in Ferry Lane closed. My one abiding memory is of missing the childrens Christmas party each year through tonsillitis and my brother telling me what fun it was!
hi jean i knew jim and arthur . arthur drove the post van i often
serviced their vehicles as i was a fitter at lebus
After completing my National Service in His Majesty’s Royal Air Force I decided not to return to a life as a Bank Clerk. I therefore marched into Tottenham Labour Exchange (while on Demobilisation Leave) and announced to the staff there that I had decided to ‘go into Industry’. Sent to Lebus and interviewed by the Personnel Manager I started work there on December 29th 1949 (Still on Demob. Leave) as a Goods Inwards Inspector. Having become aware of the money that the Craftsmen could earn on ‘Payment by Results’ and that the Company operated a ‘Late Entry Trainee Scheme’ I applied to become a Trainee. Just after my 21st Birthday I transferred to Tabernacle Street and trained to become a Cabinet Maker. This will all be published shortly as an ebook – possibly a ‘proper’ book. Title to be announced.
Thank you. My mother’s father said that her father worked for this company up until the second world war as a cabinet maker. He was Richard Fram and his grandmother was a Russian Jew. He was killed in 1944 in France so never returned to firm. She was only just 10.
My dad Eric Tetlow worked for Lebus from around 1968 to the mid 80s as the north of England representative. Just lost him last month and came across this site. Brings happy memories of all the things he told us about as children
My dad Arthur brough was a driver at Walthamstow during the 70,s I went with him many times having a lot of night outs in st Albans,does anyone have any info on his old friends syd Smith and Jimmy Dunbar who were drivers from Scotland
I worked in 22 shop from 1946 until 1949 then I was called up for national service in the RASC, I serviced the machine operators on the sanding machines.
After my term in the army I reported to the personnel office but decided not to resume my employment instead I went as a bus conductor with London Transport.
I remember the dances at the Royal Tottenham kindly paid for by the firm.
I was visiting the small town of Alpine in west Texas with my sister last spring and in our hotel room was a wardrobe manufactured at Lebus in Tottenham. That got us talking: both my grandfather Will Thornton and his brother-in-law Charlie Jennings worked at Lebus most of their lives. One was a French polisher as I remember. Imagine that, how far the furniture made at Lebus has traveled!
Lovely website. Thank you for hosting it, Mr Suleman.
My Dad,Alf Lemmon, was a good friend of your Grandfather. I also remenmber him as we used to visit the Thornton family home .
Lovely man and his wide ….Enid ??Y
Would anyone happen to know the birth name of Sissy Lewis [and what the ‘B’ in her Christian name stood for] before her marriage to Tom Lewis, or any of the wartime maiden names of any other women who worked at Lebus fabricating Horsa gliders during the war?
Sissy Lewis is my grandmother. Her Christian name was Beatrice.
If there is any information on both my grandparents (Ted(Thomas)Lewis) as well as my grandmother’s parents would be much appreciated. Even any information on their daughter (My mother Christine) as I know she worked there for a bit to.
My grandmother’s name before she married my grandfather was Beatrice Bentley.
I believe that my Grandfather Alfred William Thornton worked here with his so Alfred W Thornton jr, his wife Annie Amelia Thornton was a French Polisher, before they moved to Canada in 1911.
I am in the process of creating a family blog and I know my father Robert (Bob) Bedford worked at the Woodley site from 1951 – 1956. Prior to that he was at the Tottenham site.
If anyone has any information about him I would be pleased to hear about it.
lets not forget the vehicle repair workshop in white hart lane my dad jimmy martin (glass shop) got me a job there late sixties, wonderful times great people, also the football team (Essex business house league) wish he could have seen this website he never stopped talking about lebus a proper firm
i worked at white hart garages in the fifties and sikties do you remember reg pickard joe seddon fred forrest
fred forest was the transport manager ,Jackson was garage manager and tall jim was the foreman later everything changed reg the commercial foreman and don renoux? the car section, other name escape me , laugh a minute
hello jim i went back to tottenham wokshops then theworkshops were closed and we made redundant abought1969 when did white hart lane close down jim was also at tottenham do you remember reg mosely good times
hi George the more I think about you and Reg Mosely something clicks in my brain but very vague I was there from around 64 to 69 and quit much to my dads disgust I cant tell you anymore after that but the oxy/acet balloon that shook the lane and some of the capers classic
hi jim whats this about an oxy/act balloon
where you at the lane when pickavance had
a fight with the storeman soon after he was
transfered to tottenham do you remember
ron vowles i am 91 and can remember lots
about the lane laugh a minute
hi George sorry about slow response yes cant remember his name but he made an oxy /ace bomb and it shook dust off the rafters and all the factories came to investigate (jubblys idris wonderloaf) I note your age good on ya was you shop steward
hello jim yes i was shop steward
at the lane tap in lebus after
tottenham it tells you all abought when lebus closed down at
tottenham what do you do these
hi George I think I was your apprentice when I first started broke a clutch bolt which didn’t go down too well I’m retired now 69 worked on London transport and later first buses at Chelmsford live in Maldon stay well Jim
hello jim did you first start at the workshop at tottenham
then go to the lane i
live in linton cambs
do you remember ernie
garnish all the best
Does anyone know of a man who was a cabinet maker around the 1930’s by the name of Richard Fram (Freedman)? He died aged 38 in 1944 in Normandy. My mother thinks he worked for Leebus and would have been around in his late 30’s when he was called up for service as a chef.
Ref I was trained by a upholsterer who was work shop manager his name Stanley bonella there family were upholsteres of nine generation
As a furniture retailer that stocked and sold Lebus Furniture, I have many memories of the sales staff and some of the Lebus family, in addition to other events that soured a long business history. My Father started selling Lebus goods after the second world war and had a very successful business, that I joined at the age of 15 in 1964. However, I had spent a lot of time as a child in the shop as home was a stones throw from the business, in fact I almost grew up in the shop, so got to know the Rep`s and a member of the family at a very young age.
At the age of 16 I was privilege to be invited to the main factory, then on the upholstery site at Woodley. I could write a book about the place, as I can picture the visit and the factories to this very day.
I also remember the company taking over a bedding company, and selling the bedding, also buying into a Bentwood import company, all a huge mistake.
Leaving all the good parts behind, I will move onto matters that soured many years of wonderful and happy business dealings, and super meetings at Maddox Street – London. Silver Service Dinners at the Showroom to boot. Then came Europa – the step that doomed the business, the company upset so many small retailers by refusing to supply them with Europa Branded Furniture. I recall being at the Maddox Street showroom with my Father and being told that another retailer (that did less turnover with the company) had exclusive rights to sell the ranges, because they had more impressive premises. My Father was distraught and very upset. Within months we had found alternative suppliers as did many other retailers, and we had effectively closed our account, and I was delighted when the company effectively folded some years latter, having witnessed and felt the effects of being treated as second class retailers by the company.
I am however pleased to see that the brand name is still retains some value and is used in the trade but sadly few furniture brands of old, have any real value these days.
It has been a pleasure reading posts on this website, and I hope my comments are also welcome and give an insight from another perspective.
My dad and his brothers and a brother on law worked there during the 50″s & 60’s as did in 68/69 in the typing pool. My dad died from a heart attack in Lebuses in 1962
Family name was Holmes
I am the owner of a nice HL wardrobe, and wanted to know more about the company, browsing this site, I found this.
It’s thoroughly researched, beautifully written, and very informative.
My Dad Leslie Downes (known as Johnny or Blondie) drove a j type Bedford in and around 1953 my Mum also worked in the offices. We lived near the factory just off Ferry Lane in Edith Road.
Hello Paul, I remember you and your family. If memory serves me well you lived at no. 8 Edith Road and
I lived at no.6. My dad was also Leslie (Emslie).
I remember your dad and the lorries he drove. A distinct memory of you dad were the tattoos he had – as a youngster I always admired them. I also remember the matching cars you and your dad had – Ford Consuls?
I recently took a trip down memory lane (metaphorical and actual) and drove down Ferry Lane to Tottenham Hale, hardly anything remains from my/our time living in the area.
Wonderful! My great uncle Percy Ireland was a “commercial traveller” representing Lebus Furniture. I was very young when I learned the company name in the 1950s by which time Uncle Percy was retired. It is great to read this background to his working life.
Hi Peter I have a very faint memory of meeting your great uncle Percy. I believe he retired just about the time I joined the company in 1953. I am trying,unsucessfully,to remember in which part of the country he was the HL representative.
Hi everyone what an interesting thread about Harris Lebus. My Dad worked there …i am guessing from 1955 until they closed. He was the travelling repair man FRENCH POLISHER he used to repair any items of furniture that may have been damaged in transit. He used to take me with him sometimes in the school holidays… I absolutely loved going with him, would have been about 1963 ? Freddie Robertson anyone remember him… had a littl e Viva van
Hi,I remember working on the viva vans of which their were 2 and knew of your father ,we work in the garage at Tottenham .You could try George Bassett on this site he may know more than me Mick
I worked for a upholsterer called s bonella and sons the son served at maple in totenham court road. I remember him telling me that his father worked for lebus and was a manager there in the late 1940s his name was Stanley bonella. Born in Islington area my name is John Francis
Hi all – We are researching Albert Bylett (my wifes father) who we believe was a driver for H Lebus in the mid 60’s. Can anyone shed any light on Albert please? Thanks John M
The name lebus furniture lives on.i worked at the lebus factory in scunthorpe for over 14 years untill 2005.it continues to produce 3 piece suits.
I am researching my family history and trying to establish a link….
My great grandfather George E Weston was a carpenter’s apprentice at the age of 20yrs in the year 1871. He lived in Well Street adjacent to Wellclose Square where the Lebus family started it all ! George went on to run a building company at 42 Wellclose Square. I do not think the dates quite tie up but it would be great to form this link as I have been involved in woodworking for all of my life.
Does anyone remember one of the Nanny’s who looked after the Lebus children round about 1935-1945
Helen Sheret she will be 100 years old this July.
This British Pathé video looks like the demolition of the factory and chimney
Excellent find Ian, thank you.
To all you Harris Lebus Furniture fans…greetings from California! I just finished setting my dining room table for family coming from out of town this evening.
I inherited my Harris Lebus dining room suite…table with 3 insert extensions which seats 12-16 people, 8 chairs, and a sideboard which has 2 cabinets and 3 drawers. The entire set is walnut veneer on, I think, solid walnut.
My parents had this suite custom made to my mother’s selected designs and arrangements (everything has claw feet) and delivered to our home in London in 1928. My whole family came to America in 1950 and my parents had all their household goods shipped over.
All of Harris Lebus furniture is in excellent condition and is now, just short of 100 years old.
I recently inherited a beautiful Arts and Crafts wardrobe and dressing table that once belonged to my grandmother’s older sister and being the family’s archivist wanted to find out a bit more about it. Some short detective work through the patent tag I found inside a drawer brought me to Harris Lebus, it’s maker here. A facinating history I want to delve into more thoroughly when I have the time. This is obviously a work of love so congratulations to you and keep on with the good work. And greetings from North Wales!
I was walking my dog today in Llay Wales and I saw a nice piece of furniture on top of the rubbish ready to be left in skip. I cam to see the owner and ask if I can take it and give another life to that thing. He said yes and just literally few minutes ago I left my garage where I was preparing this great desk to renovation I will process myself. I am Polish, my grandpa was carpenter, dad the same, I couldn’t leave it to be destroyed so I will make sure to make it looks nice again. I found this web site as I started to google what HL stands for as the original emblem inside is still there.Great to see it is something more behind it than just a production line full of robots.
Thank you for a chance to learn something new
I have inherited my fathers 8 legged open leaf dining table with the clear brass stamp under one of the leaf tops. I have just researched using the stamp out of interest as my father was born in Chelsea and lived in Tottenham as a child. Lovely to read such interesting history.
Hello, My Name name is Michael Huggett and several ancestors worked for Harris Lebus over a number of years, notably Ernest Andrew who was presented with an engraved watch for his loyal service to the company. (See picture of uncle Ernest’s watch in gallery). I would appreciate some help in identifying any of the Huggett’s in the picture of the transporting of a Mosquito plane, (Also in the gallery) which I understand was the last one. Finally, can anybody give me a list of all of the Huggett’s that was employed by the company and possibly dates they started and finished employment.
Hello, my name is Nigel Berman. My great grandfather Hyman Berman came to London from what is now Belarus in 1907 when he was 16, he was taken to the Jewish Shelter and they found him a job at the Lebus Furniture Co. where he slept on the bench until he earned enough to get lodgings.
Would there be any records of him or photos? I’d love to find out more if anyone knows anything or has any connections.
What an amazing story. I knew the Lebus factory very well. I used to pass it regularly on my way to my aunt and uncle. I lived in Stamford Hill.
I was a secretary in Production Control during the 1950s/60s, working for John Lenton and knew Peter Lebus very well. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, more than any company in the following years.
Peter is alive & well, but his brother John died during (not of) Covid. A belated memorial service was held this year in his old Cambridge college chapel – Pembroke
My parents and their brothers/sisters/partners nearly all worked at Lebus’s. My parents met there, as did many of the others. My mother died recently at the age of 95, and amongst her effects is a typescript titled H.L. History. This seems to be an induction talk for new senior employees or directors that accompanied slides (that are not present, but described) and was probably given a few years after the Second World War.
My aunt Florrie Hewer (nee Greening) was, I believe Company Secretary for a time at Woodley, having worked at Tottenham for many years.
My father worked in 32 Shop as a veneer preparer and had a good social life with work colleagues. As a family, we went on many holidays to holiday camps with them.
My father Herbert (Bert) Wilford worked at lebus 1940/50.s we lived edmonton
In 1972 my wife bought a nice oak table made by Lebus Furniture with a leaf that pulls out from each end. She purchased the table in Montrose, Scotland for $10.00. It is beautiful and we still use it today.
Hi maurice butler I worked as porter loader scotch packer at Harris lebus 73 to the day it closed
My Dad, Alf Lemmon, born 1907 worked there most of his life up until his retirement. He was a cabinet maker I think and eventually rose to supervisory/management roles. Many of his siblings worked there I believe (Fred for one). My Grandparents used to live in Station Rd which was very close and it was quite a large family.
Dad used to take me there on weekends sometimes and showed me around. He gave me a 17.. (forgotten exact year) penny which he found under the factory floor which I still have.
I think he appreciated his relationship with the Lebus family. I’m sure he spoke well of them.
In 1963 after a family tragedy he was sent to manage a factory for them in Nigeria for a year.
I have lots of photos from that period and old photos of Mum and Dad at Lebus parties, where they loved dancing and were proud recipients of prizes given on those nights.
I moved to Australia in 1970 and my parents followed me here in 1975.Tbey loved it here. Dad died in 1988 at the age of 81.
Bill Frinton was a close friend that may have also worked with him.
My Dad worked in the offices at HL from about 1925 to 1967, he was made redundant, he had his Garrard long service watch presented to him, I have a photo somewhere, his name was Reg Mead, he may have been a supervisor, he did stock-taking often, the name Robshaw sounds familiar, assuming it was you Stan, my Dad was married twice, first to Billie then to Pat, my Mum, my Dad had a cricket jumper, but I was never aware of him socialising after he married my Mum, certainly I didn´t go to any social events until I was about 12, I don´t remember where it was, all I remember is dancing to the ¨March of the Mods¨ tune with my Dad, I don´t remember hearing any of my Dad’s colleagues names, maybe an Ernie but no surname.
My grandfather, Alfred William Starck, worked at HL from 1907 to 1955, according to his retirement watch, which I have and it still works. (His name is engraved as ‘STARK” on the watch.) He would have been around 13 years old when he started work there. His marriage certificate listed his profession as Cabinet Maker, but I thought he was a furniture packer.
It would be good to see any photos of around that time. I’ve checked the Gallery and can’t spot him in any of those.
My late father RICHARD (DICK) POTTICARY work in HL Tottenham for many years and was “one of the last out of the gates” when the factory closed. He was a cabinet maker and french polisher. Does anyone remember him? I, like others, have memories of the children’s christmas parties. I was taken to Maddox Street in my early teens and treated to a bedroom suite – wish I’d kept it.
Hi all, like us in Canada you are all suffering from this lock down which we all hope that it will settle down so that we can resume our normal lives,
There is a book by Paul Collier called A ROMANCE WITH THE FURNITURE TRADE HARRIS LEBUS THE STORY OF A LIFE OF OF A BUSINESS OF A FAMILY OF A WORK WORKFORCE COMMUNITY.
It well worth reading I have bought a copy and I must admit I did enjoy the read the book covers a lot of ground with a lot of interesting facts some of the details are completely new to me so I would say the book is a study about a large family which in my time we never thought that it would fall so fast.
Now I have increased my Lebus fleet of lorries into GLENROY out of Glasgow a Lebus subsidiary and EVENTIDE out of Clerkenwell London again Lebus subsidiary. If Paul would like to email me he can see the photographs of the entire Lebus fleet, take care all Michael Parsons at [email protected]
During WW2 my father worked on Mosquito Fighter Bomber production in the HL factory. Cork was unavailable for table mats, so our family had round peices of plywood and on some of them in blue letters the word Mosquito was stamped on them. These were obviously off cuts which the carpenters were allowed to keep.
I just bought a Lebus roll-top bureau to use as a dressing table, the little drawers perfect for storing lipsticks, eye make up, nail polish etc.. I think it is oak, and much enjoyed reading about the story of Harris Lebus…..thank you.
My father Charlie Ingrey worked foe Lebus in Tottenham before WW2 until the mid 50s .We lived in Park View Road Tottenham and I went to Down Lane School.
My Grandad Harold Standbridge started working for Lebus in 1922 and continued until the factory closed at Ferry Lane, he told me a lot of stories especially about making gliders in WW2.
My late Dad, Ron Phipps worked for the Lebus Company in Tottenham Hale for around ten years until it shut down .
He really liked it there, he was a HGV driver for many years and moved on to the loading bank as a loader when my Mum had my brother and I.
I recall my Dad being very friendly with a number of the blokes who worked at the factory, one of which was Burt Strachan I believe.
Great article, My father Ernie Coppin was a lorry driver for you guys. Out of the Tottenham depot, I spent a few days with him going up and down the M1. I remember being very proud, especially when passing another Lebus lorry. Great memories…. Jim Coppin.
we are in our 40’s know nothing of Lebus furniture. Just bought the most gorgeous Lebus dressing table and wardrobe from Ebay. Sadly the seller lost her last parents who had bought and owned the items from new in the late 1950s. £20 each felt criminally cheap taking them from the daughter but she had no interest in them. Her parents house is in Hull which i found an interesting link! and a £120 courier got the items to us. I’ve loved finding out more about Lebus and this website has been brilliant. I’ve loved reading every message on this board. All so,so, interesting and nostalgic. My wife and I met and lived initially in Woodley in the early 90’s too! (we’ve never left the Reading area) How Woodley has changed since the 90’s! New housing estates galore! I’d love to link share pictures of the pieces we’ve just bought. they are beautiful and as sold to their one owner. We are on the hunt for more Lebus furniture!
I thank you Mustafa for your website and your interest in sharing history on this important furniture company with new generations. p.s. I cringe at how people on ebay have up-cycled/shabby chic these beautifully designed pieces of furniture.
My first job was at the Harris Lebus company in Woodley Berkshire, England. I was emplyed as office junior and worked there for many years before migrating with my family to Australia.
Anyone remember my grandfather Noah ‘Sam’ Isaacs who might have had a connection with the factory during WWII? He ran the newsagent and tobacconists on the High Road Tottenhan. The shop sign was Mews of the World and N. Isaacs. They were ‘the original corner shop’ selling lots of things incl Penguin paperbacks and day trips! You might remember the children who delivered the papers… My dad Gordon. Also Ronnie (Ronald), Henry, Alan and Rayner. Any info gratefully received. Best wishes.
My father Eddie Price, often called Ted, worked at Harris Lebus from I think sometime in the 50s to early 69s.The work he did was to do with the cutting of the timber if I remember correctly. As a young child he sometimes let me go down to where tge wood came on the barges and to see the cats and kittens which I loved doing but he impressed on me not to attempt to touch them as they were feral. Some Saturday evenings my parents and myself would go to The Panda Club which was for the workers, it was a great night out with music and dancing. We had furniture from HL I think my dad got a discount and could also buy it for other family members. I had a dressing table with mirror wardrobe combined and had it for many years even in my first home. If anyone knew my father it would be lovely to hear from them. I think I was known as Ted’s girl who sang, which I did and went professional at 19 appearing in my West End musicals.
My father worked there from when he left school at 14 until the factory shut BILL MASON WAS HIS NAME , HE WORKED IN TH MILL ALONGSIDE THE RIVER I HAD MANY GREAT TIMES THERE AT THE FIRMS SOCIAL CLUB DO,S , INCLUDING QUEEN ELIZABETH,S CORINATION DAY , THEY HAD GREAT CHRISTMAS CHILDRENS PARTYS , MY GRANDMOTHER WORKED THERE AS WELL FOR THE WAR EFFORT , I THINK THEY MADE GLIDERS IN WOOD OR PARTS OF THEM , THIS IS HOW MY DAD MET MY MUM , VIA MY GRANDMOTHER , my dad met princess margaret at Lebus,s she did a visit in the 1960,s cant rem what year but have the photos . When the factory shut and mover to Reading i think my dad found another job but then they re opened in a unit opposite Black Horse road station for a few years but then shut dow again , i did some work in the factory myself as electrician , my dad worked in the new factory even though he had retired and was very happy there for a few more years
I am currently running a refurbishment project for the current owners at 124-130 Tabernacle Street, which I believe to have been the former warehouse. I would really appreciate it if anyone could share memories/ photos/ records of any Harris Lebus activity at the address. I am looking to incorporate the former use into the aesthetic of the new common parts.
My mother, Isabel (Isa) Baillie, born 1911, who lived in Avenue Road, Tottenham, worked at Harris Lebus before she was married in August 1934 (when she moved south of the river and became Isa Firth). Unfortunately I’ve no idea what her job was but I’ve always assumed it was on the clerical side.