In 1881 Joseph Beattie started his apprenticeship as a glazier with the company James Adam and Son at 19 Moss Street, Paisley.
Following the death of James Adam in 1903, Joe along with his business partner Bob Rae, purchased the business from James’ widow Mrs. Adam, who wished the new owners well and commended their services in a newspaper advert which has survived along with a photograph.
Joe Beattie`s son, also named Joseph, joined the business as an apprentice in 1908 and worked in the business till his father died in June 1933, whereupon the surviving partner, Bob Rae, became the sole owner.
A few months later on New Year’s Eve 1933, Joe was told that his services were “no longer required” and with a young family to provide for, he had a difficult decision to make. Joe decided to start his own glazing business and in January 1934 he set up in a shop unit rented from the Co-op at 20 Causeyside Street, Paisley. Joe started with £100 and turned over £995 in his first year. The business “Joseph Beattie Glaziers” carried out general glazing repairs for many of the house factors and businesses in the area, a number of whom are still customers to this day, including W. J. & W. Lang (Tannery) Ltd. and Winning and Fulton (Ross & Liddell). One of the more unusual glazing contracts was carried out in 1942, following a German bombing raid on Paisley, which resulted in damage to 42 panes in St George’s Church manse and costing the princely sum of 38 pounds 6 shillings and 6 pence to repair.
Joe’s son was the third Joseph to join the business and started his apprenticeship in 1944, which he completed in 1948. In 1951 due to his father’s poor health, Joe took over the day to day running of the business and formed the Limited company of Joseph Beattie & Son Ltd. Most of the small works were carried out within the Paisley area and a barrow was used to transport glass for the smaller jobs. Joe recalls pushing the barrow about 7 miles from Paisley to Johnstone and back again. The glass manufacturer would transport larger pieces of glass ie for shopfronts, directly to site. The business thrived and Joe was able to purchase the company’s first van in 1953 allowing them to expand further. A wide range of contracts were carried out including replacing over 1,000 roof panes in the former Rootes Car Plant in Linwood.
In 1953 the business moved back to the former premises of James Adam and Son at 29 Moss Street following the purchase of both the business and their premises. The business continued to expand and following the sale of the Moss Street shop in 1967, Joe moved to custom built premises at 10 Shuttle Street, which had formerly been a slater’s yard. While renovation work was being carried out, a well which had been situated in the orchard of the Paisley Abbey was discovered. Contracts carried out at this time included the glazing of two new swimming pool developments in Elderslie and Neilston.
In 1976 due to the continuing steady growth and also with Joe’s two sons Joseph 4th and William joining the company, it was decided to move to new premises at 22 New Street / Palladium Pen, which allowed the business to expand into glass processing and the manufacture of domestic aluminium windows. In the 1980`s and 90`s the business became heavily involved working with the shop fitting industry. This included glazing and mirror installations in new shopping centre developments being built throughout the UK. Some of the larger jobs carried out included The Paisley Centre, St Enoch Centre, East Kilbride Shopping Centre, Princes Square and House of Fraser Stores from Aberdeen to Chelmsford in Essex.
In 1987 the business moved to its present location at 2/4 Abercorn Street, Paisley and traded as “Beattie Glass” This allowed the company to further diversify into the manufacturing and installation of Commercial Aluminium Curtain Walling, Windows and Entrance Screens. Contracts carried out included - Balfron High School, West Inverclyde Secondary School, Newark Primary School, Gartnaval Hospital, Annan Academy. In 1991 Joe opened the “Magical Mirrors” showroom offering a wide range of decorative mirrors as well as pictures, lamps, vases, ornaments and giftware.
The Company have had a long association with the various trade bodies involved in the glazing industry including the Glass and Glazing Federation, Scottish Building, Renfrewshire Master Builders and the Scottish Specialist Contractors Training Committee to name but a few. Joe’s involvement with these associations serving as a board member or chairman on a number of them, has resulted in the company being at the forefront of new legislation affecting the industry.
In 1998, Joe’s son Kevin joined the company with the specific remit to research new processes and products. This led to a change of emphasis for the company as Fire Rated windows, doors and screens under the name “Gennaro” were added to the already wide range of products and services manufactured here in Paisley and supplied and installed throughout the UK.
With the continual improvements to the building regulations, the market requirement for Fire Rated products such as windows and doors continues to increase and this has now become the major part of the company’s activities. Kevin has successfully built Gennaro into one of the leading manufacturers of Fire Rated products in the UK.
As the Beattie family celebrate 136 years and 5 generations in the Glass business, Joe, Kevin and the team look forward to the future, continuing to deliver innovative quality products and services to both the trade and public.