DID you work for John Williams & Company Ltd in Worthing?

Do you know someone who did?

Established in 1870, the company has been known by a number of different names over the years.

You may remember it as JW Roofing, John Williams & Company Rotherhithe Ltd, John Williams & Company London Ltd, John Williams & Company Sussex Ltd or Tuxford-Williams of Wales.

With ties to Bangor, North Wales, the geographical area of the company’s previous employees is vast.

From the slate mines of North Wales, to Crown Wharf in Chelsea, John Williams & Company had depots in Faversham, Newham, Southampton Docs, Dover, Worthing, Horsham and Rotherhithe.

Shortly after World War I, John Williams & Company also owned a clay manufacturing business at Barton-upon-Humber, in Lincolnshire.

Originally, barges full of Welsh slate would travel by river down to the premises at Rotherhithe, which had its own wharf on the river Thames.

In addition to selling and fixing roofing slate, the company processed slate for manufactured products such as steps, window sills, mortuary slabs and panels for electrical switch gear.

Now based in Lympne, Kent, many of the former depots were either closed or sold.

“We survived the recession of the early 1900s due to the decision of the owners to concentrate on the company’s core strengths,” said Managing Director, John Howland, who joined the company in 1974.

John Williams & Company has a history of employing skilled crafts people that, even today, use traditional materials and techniques.

“We are putting together a collection of memorabilia for our Museum Room and we’d love to add to it, the stories of the people who worked for us during our vast history as we approach this landmark 150th year anniversary,” said John.

If you can help, please send your stories to john@johnwilliamsroofing.co.uk.

It is a full-service heritage and restoration company, providing slate roofing, lead casting and building restoration services. Its team use traditional techniques passed down through generations.