West Norfolk Glass goes Down Under
For a company to trade for 50 consecutive years is a significant achievement, but West Norfolk Glass has also mirrored the evolution of the glazing industry.
Founded by John Parker in 1967, who had trained as a glazier in Norwich, the family business’ progress has been mapped over the years by local press. Now John’s son, Geoff, who manages the firm along with brother Philip, has opened up the archives to show how these articles capture some of the key moments for the company and industry.
One of the earliest articles from 1971 shows the moment that West Norfolk Glass moved to King’s Lynn’s Everard Street. Then, as now, the company’s services included glazing for domestic, commercial and industrial buildings, with handmade traditional diamond leaded panes still in demand, along with coloured, patterned and wired safety glass. Everard Street gave West Norfolk Glass its first showroom with ample parking – just like its Hereford Way showroom today.
In 1987, the firm marked 20 years of trading and – along with contract glazing, which the firm continues to offer – West Norfolk Glass had grown a good reputation as a provider of PVCu glazing which had started to replace aluminium frames. West Norfolk Glass was a pioneer in introducing the modern material and its installations, just like today, came with a 10-year guarantee.
The article also reported that a local family which had emigrated to Australia had taken a full set of leaded windows with them – perhaps testament to West Norfolk Glass’ excellent reputation. It mentions how personal recommendation was a regular source of enquiries, and in the ensuing 30 years this is still the case.
In 1990, West Norfolk Glass moved to its current showroom and an article from the year reports that in addition to its work on new housing developments in the area, it also provided specialist repair on stained glass windows in churches.
By 2007, PVCu windows, doors and conservatories were at the core of West Norfolk Glass’ business which had more than 24 employees, including its own in-house fitters. “We still prefer to employ our own fitters,” says Geoff Parker. “It’s important for our customers to know that all of our work is guaranteed, and ensuring they are happy with every aspect of our installation is as important to us now as it was to our dad, 50 years ago.”