New era for Norman Harrap and Son as two iconic businesses join forces
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 13 May 2019
Two businesses long regarded as institutions in Hull are now under one roof and joint ownership for the first time.
Stained glass and leaded light specialist Norman Harrap and Son was founded in 1933. Its colourful products adorn hundreds of homes in Hull and East Yorkshire as well as across the UK.
Meanwhile, glass merchants Jack's Glass has been established for just over 40 years.
Malcolm Linford, owner of Jack's Glass and Norman Harrap & Son
Now the two companies have come together in one place under the new ownership of Malcolm Linford.
A retired self-employed plumber and electrician, he initially bought Jack's Glass last year after its previous family owners called it a day for health reasons.
Some original Norman Harrap stained glass lanterns from the 1930s (Image: Hull Daily Mail)
More recently, he did the same with Harrap and Son when second-generation owner Ian Harrap decided to retire and put the firm's Spring Bank premises up for sale.
Mr Linford said: "I retired at 50 and spent three very enjoyable years travelling the world with my wife.
"Then one day I popped into Jack's Glass because I needed some glass cutting for the round windows of a model steam engine I was making.
"I'd used them for years but when I was waiting for my glass to be cut I was told I'd just made it in time because they were closing for good that weekend.
Norman Harrap and Sons and Jack's Glass are now under one roof in Princes Road, Hull (Image: Hull Daily Mail)
"I couldn't believe it and started wondering where I was going to get my glass cut in the future. Then I got thinking and decided I just couldn't see it disappear so I put in an offer."
Keeping the firm's Princes Road shop open, he saw the opportunity to involve his own family in the running of the business but has also retained the services of Roger Andrew, who still cuts glass by hand to order.
"Roger has been the glass trade all his life. He's 69 now and here's been here over 20 years.
"He's part-time now but he has taught us so much about the trade and how to cut and bevel glass. I've always made things since I was a lad and really wanted to keep this sort of local craftsmanship alive.
"The same thinking applied when I heard Ian Harrap was planning to retire. Now he's here with us two or three days a week and we're all learning so much from him."
The old Norman Harrap shop in Paradise Place, near where the Whittington and Cat pub is today (Image: Hull Daily Mail)
The business on Spring Bank has relocated to Princes Road where a small showroom of Harrap stained glass products rubs shoulders with a workshop full of glass of all shapes and sizes.
The signature Harrap lead-lined stained glass lanterns are now made on the premises and a new kiln will soon be up and running with the intention of creating a completely new range of decorative glazed items as well as producing made-to-measure curved glass pieces.
Now employing seven people, the company's long-standing repair and renovation service is also continuing as before.
Contemporary stained glass lanterns made by Harrap and Sons in Hull (Image: Hull Daily Mail)
Mr Linford said: "Even though I retired, I'm probably busier now than I've ever been.
"I just enjoy running businesses and knowing the family are involved and will eventually take over the reins from me is a brilliant incentive to make it all work.
"What is important for me is that traditional crafts and skills are being maintained and passed on to a new generation."