Christmas Appeal to Track Down Roofing Staff for 150th Birthday Bash

A KENT ROOFING COMPANY has issued a Christmas Appeal to track down its former employees for a 150th birthday reunion.

John Williams & Company, which once worked on Tower Bridge, is hoping any of its former workers and associates will get in touch and join the company in its a year-long celebrations.

Former employees can contact the company by email at or phone the office on 01303 265198


The business has been trading since 1870, although it can reportedly trace its roots back to a company called Williams of Bangor, Gwynedd in 1822.

Employees working on Tower Bridge, London

The company was once featured in newspapers working on Tower Bridge, which included staff carrying stacks of slates up ladders by balancing them on their heads.

It was incorporated as John Williams & Company Rotherhithe Ltd in 1931. This name was changed in 1993 to John Williams & Company Ltd and in 2004 the present company John Williams & Company (Contracting) Ltd was formed, after it was sold by the Greenwood family, who had owned it since the 1890s.

At one time, the company owned depots as far afield as Horsham, Worthing, Southampton docks and Conwy, North Wales (trading as Tuxford Williams of Wales), Faversham, Newhaven, and Rotherhithe in London, which was the main location and head office.

A meeting of the London Association of Slate Merchants, Master Slaters & Tilers in 1928

As a result of its longevity, the company is the oldest member of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC), having been a member of the National Association of Slate Merchants Slaters & Tilers, which included the London Association of Slate Merchants and Master Slaters, a precursor of the NFRC.

Reunion planned

The company is now planning to hold a reunion event on 28 February, 2020 at Sene Valley Golf Club, Hythe CT 18 8BL and is keen to track down former employees or other people previously associated with the business to join them as guests for the occasion.

Managing Director, John Howland, said, “As part of the year-long celebrations a company reunion is planned for 28 February in Hythe, Kent.

“Although we have sent invitations to those whose addresses we still have, there will be many people from our various branches for whom we no longer have details.

“In our heyday, we had branches as far afield as Rotherhithe, Horsham, Worthing, Southampton and Conwy North Wales (trading as Tuxford Williams of Wales).

“We would like to invite anyone who has worked for us or who has any association with John Williams & Co and would like to meet up with old friends and colleagues on 28 February to get in touch – we would love to see as many people reunited as possible.”

Former employees can contact the company by email at or phone the office on 01303 265198



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