To mark our 70th Anniversary we interviewed Stephen Cluer, Chairman of Furnitubes to tell us about the history of the company and how things have changed over the years. Click to read the full interview.

Q.How and why was the company started?

"It all started after the war in 1946. My father Jack Cluer was a marine engineer, and at the time motor torpedo boats were being dismantled and he had access to vast quantities of steel tubing from the shipyards. It was at a time when new institutions were being set up such as the National Health Service and educational establishments and he approached the council and simply asked what they required – therfore production began with things like pot and pan racks for schools, and hospital beds."

Q.Where was the company located?

"My father bought a house in Humber Road in Blackheath, South-East London. He had a garage at the bottom of the garden which is where the manufacturing took place. As the business grew, he rented the garages from neighbours either side to increase the manufacturing space. "

Q.Where did the name Furnitubes come from?

"All of the products created were tubular furniture – so it was a simple combination of Furniture and Tubes!"

Q.When did you start working for Furnitubes?

"As it was run from our home, I got involved when I was a child. At the time screws and bolts were hard to come by – there was no Screwfix in those days! My father had good contacts, and he would buy mixed bags of bolts, screws and washers at auction. I would then work with my brother to sort the bags into each type, and would get paid 1 penny for each completed bag!

It was very much a ‘make do and mend’ time, so if we needed a particular length screw it would be cut down to size from what we had available."


To mark our 70th Anniversary we interviewed Stephen Cluer, Chairman of Furnitubes to tell us about the history of the company and how things have changed over the years. Click to read the full interview.

Q.How and why was the company started?

"It all started after the war in 1946. My father Jack Cluer was a marine engineer, and at the time motor torpedo boats were being dismantled and he had access to vast quantities of steel tubing from the shipyards. It was at a time when new institutions were being set up such as the National Health Service and educational establishments and he approached the council and simply asked what they required – therfore production began with things like pot and pan racks for schools, and hospital beds."

Q.Where was the company located?

"My father bought a house in Humber Road in Blackheath, South-East London. He had a garage at the bottom of the garden which is where the manufacturing took place. As the business grew, he rented the garages from neighbours either side to increase the manufacturing space. "

Q.Where did the name Furnitubes come from?

"All of the products created were tubular furniture – so it was a simple combination of Furniture and Tubes!"

Q.When did you start working for Furnitubes?

"As it was run from our home, I got involved when I was a child. At the time screws and bolts were hard to come by – there was no Screwfix in those days! My father had good contacts, and he would buy mixed bags of bolts, screws and washers at auction. I would then work with my brother to sort the bags into each type, and would get paid 1 penny for each completed bag!

It was very much a ‘make do and mend’ time, so if we needed a particular length screw it would be cut down to size from what we had available."


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Furnitubes International address and contact details

Furnitubes International Ltd
Meridian House
Royal Hill
Greenwich
London
SE10 8RD
Tel: 020 8378 3261
Fax: 020 8378 3250
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Celebrating 70 years of street furniture success