Jacob Gliksten started a small furniture business in Tottenham Court road. When his son Reuben Glisten joined him they made the change to become timber suppliers rather then furniture manufacturers.
“Reuben Gliksten was tough and enterprising, his men worked hard, not only beaches they admired the Guv’nor for his determination to success, but because he worked as hard as they did.”
The business grew and they made a move to Wansbeck road (close to the river Lea) in the early 20th Century and then acquired a large site on Carpenters road, Stratford with direct access to the river. Trading since 1883, in 1946 led by brothers Albert and Stanley Gliksten, J. Glisten and Son Ltd became a group of many companies such as Gliksten Venners Ltd, Gliksten Doors, Gliksten Building Materials, Glisten (West Africa) – the list goes on living up to their business slogan “Gliksten – the foremost name in timber”.
The post-war timber trade dramatically shifted. With stocks low after the huge demand of the war controls were put in place.
“It was still considered almost a crime for anyone to even think of using timer”.
Native forests were depleted and there were no dollars to continue buying from Canada and America. So they turned to the ‘Gold Coast’ of West Africa. Huge logs from forests were imported into London and processed at their Stratford Wharf. This also led to a new branch of the business – Gliksten Export Sales Ltd.
Large Timber yards once situated on Carpenters Road.
Archive materials on Glisten can now be found at Stratford Libraries – Newham Heritage and Archive services.