Over Sixty Years Of Excellence est. 1946
Built on a sensible alliance of traditional process and contemporary thought, the business has learned to survive by accommodating market fluctuations for over six decades. The company has worked ceaselessly to satisfy client’s needs and each challenge has enabled us to strengthen and build in both national and international markets.
FURNITUBES IS BORN
Furnitubes was established by Jack Cluer in 1946. After the war materials were scarce, but the marine engineer was able to source steel tubes from shipyards, where motor torpedo boats were being taken apart.
His first products were made from these recycled tubes for the new institutions that were being set up at the time, such as the National Health Service and Education establishments.
He soon became a major supplier to the London County Council.
1951 FESTIVAL OF BRITAIN
At the festival Jack Cluer exhibited the original 'Tulip' timber slatted litter basket. Furnitubes breakthrough into the street furniture market.
IN 1954 FURNITUBES
Was awarded the contract to supply the British Industries Fair in London at the South Bank, and the subsequent years saw an almost entire dedication to fulfilling orders for the popular product nationwide.
At its height, Furnitubes gained International recognition when the 'Tulip' slatted litter basket was chosen for EXPO58 and the site of the World fair at Brussels in 1958.
Towards the end of the 1950's, Furnitubes began to offer a larger range of litter bins and wire baskets, in addition to some simple seating, that all proved popular with Local Authorities specifying for schools and public developments.
Furnitubes branched out and explored a multitude of exciting new products.
• Modular concrete seating and planters in all manner of shapes and sizes
• Playground equipment and skateboard ramps
• Modular utilitarian railing, advertising poster units and lighting systems
• Street sweeper carts and traffic cones
• Fun, bold PVC plastic products that could be found in swinging London locations!
The teenage boom led to an increase in vandalism, however Furnitubes rose to the challenge with products to deter vandals. The new concrete litter bins, steel tree protection and tubular furniture ranges became the strongest contenders within the market.
With customers demanding a wider variety of products, Furnitubes released a 'range of street furniture' products to meet demand. New ranges of bollards, cycle stands, tree protection and new materials were introduced, including the launch of a great new concept - G.R.C "Vandal resistant, fire resistant and frost resistant" furniture.
Bollards and cycle parking were becoming widespread as more off-street parking facilities were made available. New materials, such as G.R.P (Glass Reinforced Plastic) were also being used for Planters and Grit Bins that had traditionally been made in concrete.
Furnitubes celebrate 40 years and fully expand to offer a complete range of cast iron bollards, tree grilles, litter bins and bollards, which proved popular due to their durability and ability to stand the test of time.
In a drive to attract wealthier customers, the more refined designs of the Victorian era became ever more popular, seen in products such as the Eastgate and Rotherham seat.
Following a pandemic of raids, Dixons approached Furnitubes to solve the problem. The result was the dedicated anti ram-raid Gunner Security which quickly became the standard security bollard amongst retailers for protecting store fascias from attack.
THE BELL BOLLARD
1985 brought the introduction of the Bell bollard, possibly the most famous of all Furnitubes products after the Tulip Litter Bin.
The four-storey gin distillery at Seager Buildings was converted from a derelict shell into a bright modern head office and the unit opposite was equipped for storage, fabrication and fitted with a paint spray booth for faster painting and superior finish.
Furnitubes continues to expand, releasing exciting new collections, including the Swedish 'Nola' collection.
Furnitubes strengthened their control over source costs with the acquisition of a foundry in Sittingbourne, Kent.
Furnitubes position themselves as a major innovator within the industry, through expansion of the design department and investment in C.A.D, graphics and D.T.P publishing software. This lead to a number of bespoke contracts, including: Historic gate restoration for L.B Tower Hamlets at Spitalfields Market, a Café Arch for L.B Greenwich in Greenwich Park and impressive new lighting for Wembley Arena.
A major new catalogue and new corporate logo was launched in 1995. Its professional layout was created in-house specifically aimed at architects and specifiers. Over 3,000 products were included and at the time it was generally accepted as the best on the market.
In 1995 a second investment was made to quality and the company quality assurance programme was inspected and Furnitubes gained accreditation to BS 5750, formally known as EN ISO 9002:1994 by Lloyds Register Quality Assurance.
Furnitubes celebrate their 50th birthday. Contracts include the pedestrianisation of Main Street, Gibraltar, sculpted bollards designed by John Maine for Lewisham and a hundred metre covered walkway for Centro at Cradley Heath station, near Birmingham.
The smaller Linx 200 system is conceived and kicks off with a substantial order for Wood Green, London. Furnitubes designers work with both Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone to develop completely unique street furniture ranges for their town centres.
Furnitubes launch a new catalogue style and are awarded the contract for fingerpost signage for The Thames Path, Green Chain Walk, London Loop, Cray Riverway and all cycle routes.
Stainless steel rises in popularity and Furnitubes launch many exciting new designs. Furnitubes’ largest ever 12 metre market archway is unveiled at Hoxton Street Market in Hackney, London
THE NEW MILLENNIUM
Commences with orders for Romney Railings at the St. George development at Vauxhall and prestigious signage for Winchester Cathedral and Portsmouth seafront.
The success of Linx railings continues with a special stainless steel cap variation for Walthamstow Town Centre. Memorial plaques are cast for the Rock of Gibraltar, balustrade is supplied to Brighton Marina and an increasing number of stainless steel products are sold.
Furnitubes return to the street where they used to be based, with new offices on Royal Hill.
Many substantial orders including Linx100 and decorative hooped railings for Red Routes in London. Contracts this year include lamp post protector bollards for B.D.P, Walthamstow and Canterbury Bollards & FI Sockets for the Royal Albert Hall, London.
SALES, SERVICE & STOCK CONTROL
Furnitubes new Medway Distribution centre provides substantial, efficient warehouse facilities. Further expansion and investment in 3D C.A.D software.
A successful exhibition at External Works 2005 where the Zenith seat and bench and the BELL 115 and Harbour bollards are officially launched.
FURNITUBES 60TH ANNIVERSARY
Many new products, including ash waste bins and an extended Portman range are introduced to coincide with the brand new 270 page Diamond Edition catalogue. Furnitubes exhibit these new products at Saltex 2006.
HEREFORD TOWN CENTRE
Furnitubes supplied Hereford Town Centre its comprehensive Zenith range. Painted black to match the council’s corporate colours, the Zenith steel and timber seat, bin and bollard were supplied to the area. Black painted College cycle stands and stainless steel Zenith litter bins were also supplied.
FURNITUBES GO GREEN!
Furnitubes launch new recycled composite timber, made from 50% sawdust and 50% plastic. The environmentally friendly material has a look and texture akin to timber with the added benefits of recycled plastic
The stylish Linx 400 railing system is a new addition to the revolutionary Linx range. The sleek and flexible railing system is available in 100% stainless steel. The rails are attached to unique curved plates which fit flush onto the posts in any position or angle. Installed in Hammersmith, London, the range transformed the area.
The Linx 400 accompanied the Linx composite range at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, used for their bus station, car park and trolley bays.
WESTFIELD SHOPPING CENTRE, LONDON
Furnitubes supplied several stainless steel products to Europe’s largest inner city shopping centre. The Linx 400 railings, Zenith cycle stands and District traffic bollards were supplied to the site in West London.