Reference NumberB/MIS/37
TitleEvidences of title of William Lusty and Sons, packing case manufacturers, to premises at Anchor Wharf, Weston Street, Bromley (formerly the Imperial Tar Works of Messrs Battly and Buttler, tar distillers)
Date(s)1856 - 1924
Extent1 bundle
AdminHistoryWm. Lusty started out from a small hardware shop in 1872. Wm. Lusty and Sons became salvage merchants, based in Bromley-by-Bow. The company salvaged driftwood that had fallen, from barges, into the Limehouse Canal, and turned the debris into packing cases. In WW1 Lusty's adapted to produce armaments cases and by the mid-1920s, the company was looking to expand. Some customers held that the furniture produced at the Bow-based factory was suitable only for indoor use. However, Lusty's discovered a technique used by American company Marshall Bloom, where, using a loom, threads were weaved around a metal frame. The result was the original Lloyd Loom fabric.

In 1921, Marshall Bloom sold the patent to Lusty's. The company's fortunes buoyed up when the LNER began to use Lloyd's Loom furniture in its hotels. Lloyd's Loom merchandise became widely used in hotels, zeppelins, and cruise liners. By the 1930s, Lusty's was sole manufacturer of Lloyd's Loom furniture.

The site of Lusty's London Works, on the North side of the Limehouse Cut, became the Empson Street Industrial Estate. The steel framed timber shed, built by the company in 1930, housed two integral gantries, both equipped with an overhead travelling crane for unloading timber from the barges to the shed.(1) Known as the Gantry Building, it is the only building on the site to have survived the fire started by incendiary bombs in September 1940.

Lusty's exhibited at several British Industrial Fairs and Buildings Exhibitions held at Olympia. Today its manufacturing base is in Lincolnshire. As a family business, Lusty's Lloyd Loom produces classic and contemporary household furniture for its international customer base, and "within the reach of every purse'.(2)

Sources of information:
1. 'Empson Street Industrial Estate (formerly Lusty's Furniture Works)': p.11 in Limehouse Cut Conservation Area - Character Appraisal 2011 (LBTH)
Wm. Lusty and Sons in (including photos of Lusty's London Works, c.1930)
Lloyd Loom Manufacturing (2017) on YouTube.
CustodialHistoryBRA 2861
Access StatusOpen
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