George Williams - 1928-2010
When George ‘the Guv’nor’ retired from Anglian Windows in 1990 he had led the company from the very beginning to be the fastest growing business in the home improvement industry responsible for the employment of over 4000 people. At that time Anglian had a turnover of £140 million and was the market leader, we still enjoy this position today.
George started Anglian in 1966 when he livedin Park Close Old Catton and decided one night (at 2 am so he said!) that he could make a better job of double glazing his home than anything that was on offer at the time, so he went ahead and did it!
George set up the company with just £450.00 of capital and for the first three years of the new venture George continued with his “other job”, sexing poultry! George said he carried on this unusual occupation for a further three years as he “didn’t know how it would go“ with his new windows venture. Before this he served in the Royal Air Force and worked in office administration. When George visited the USA he was inspired by a new idea for glazing windows, later after starting his business George made use of this and developed it, making Anglian Windows prosper in the newly developing home improvements market.
During 1969 George decided to try something revolutionary and open a showroom. This concept enabled potential customers to see and try Anglian products first hand. The first Anglian Window Centre was opened in
Ipswich High Street and its success led to the opening of 118 showrooms all over the nation. The orders flowed in and soon George found himself employing hundreds of people.
Driven by his energy and enthusiasm George built up the Anglian Windows business to such a level that eighteen years after start up, during 1984, George sold his share of Anglian to British Electric Traction (BET) for a massive £33 million which was a pretty good return on his original £450!. At that time Anglian encompassed six factories employing 1460 staff, with over 1400 sales and installation agents in the field. At this time BET also controlled another large local company, namely Boulton & Paul. Under George’s leadership the company became the leading force in the home improvement industry which led Norwich to be named the “Window Capital” of the country.
George was aged 81 when he passed away after having been admitted to hospital a few days earlier with pneumonia. George was truly a legend within the double glazing industry and for those that knew him, he was a tremendous individual. His charisma, drive and strength of character built Anglian in those early days from a start up enterprise in a domestic garage, growing to be a small East Anglian based business through to becoming
the UK market leader, a position we continue to enjoy today, which is a lasting legacy to George Williams, our founder. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to his wife Alex and family.