13 Decades of Wire Work in Brighouse | JW Lister


13 Decades of Wire Work in Brighouse

Posted by Jayna on Jul 15, 2018 in Latest News

We’re proud to still be making wire work after all these years. In fact, we’ve come a long way since 1889, now distributing our wire products all over Europe, including France, Germany and Holland!

Since we are celebrating 130 years of ‘making wire work’ next year, we thought we would share a little bit of our company history with you – after all JW Lister Ltd is a first and foremost a family business, now in its fifth generation of Lister ownership!

John William Lister, Brighouse Our founder, John William Lister, (pictured above) was born at Cock Wall Farm in Clifton, Brighouse and became an apprentice at a wire works here in the West Yorkshire.

Much later, in 1889, despite being well into his seventies at the time, he set up his own business at Little John Mill and within five years he opened a shop. Initially, he specialised ironmongery and hardware at No.9 Police Street (now Lawson Road), Brighouse. The company was still evolving and expanding when John William took over Brooksmouth Mills on Clifton Road in Brighouse in 1845 – where we still operate from today.

John William was an active member of the local community, being the founder of Clifton Band, as well as a member of Clifton Church and choir. He was also the Vice President for the St. Andrew’s Bible Class for twenty years. The company founder died in 1939 at his home on Lightcliffe Road with the knowledge that his family business was in safe and capable hands.

Adapting to Changing Times

Throughout the years our company has been able to adapt to changing times. At first, we manufactured wire netting, fire guards, wire fencing and wire nails before branching out to manufacture floral tribute frames. At this time all joints were knotted, an old-fashioned technique compared to now, when products are spot welded.

In the 1960s we successfully adapted to meet changing demands and began manufacturing laying cages for the egg production industry. This new element of the business developed into exporting the flat packed cages to Nigeria, Sweden, Canada and USA. During this time, to export our manufacturing across the world, our staff had to drop the packages off at the goods yard at the railway station in Brighouse for collection and shipment. Back then, John William himself would load the items onto a car driven trailer and personally deliver them to the railway station.

Today we remain a long-established family-run wire mesh supplier, specialising in the design, manufacture and supply of a range of diverse wire and tube products. All of our anti-rust and durable products come from our 33,000sq ft factory in Brighouse. We’re proud to be a world leader in the wirework profession, providing the highest quality products to a range of different professionals from builders to veterinary surgeons.

129 Years of Making Wire Work

Currently in our 129th year of business, our services also encompass flawless finishing, with our products coming in self-colour or in a range of final polishes, including zinc plate in bright colours, bright chrome plate, epoxy powder coat or plastic coating.

We value our customers, which is why we pride ourselves on designing and manufacturing our products to the highest standard, consistently providing the highest quality products and customer service with the goal of creating lifelong JW Lister customers.

Although we employ good old-fashioned values of reliability and honesty, we utilise the latest wire-working techniques and offer CNC wire straightening and cutting, CNC 2D and 3D wire-forming and CNC wire welding.

Brighouse At Work: People and Industries Through the Years, Chris HelmeWe are proud to be one of the few remaining wire-workers that can offer in-house plastic coating wire mesh facilities, so if you’re looking for wholesale plastic coated wire panels, baskets, bins, trays and countertop displays, get in touch!

We were fortunate enough to be included in local historian Chris Helme’s book on Brighouse’s rich history entitled: “Brighouse at Work: People and Industries Through the Years”, which you can purchase here.