Home
Pensioners Index
Obituary

......Extended .Obituary..- 'G'.......

'G'

GAUNT, Walter Henry CBE (1874-1951) was recruited by J Lyons & Co Ltd in 1919 as Distribution Manager. He was born in Bradford on 13 January 1874 and died at his home in Letchworth on 31 October 1951. On 4 February 1943 he was appointed an Employee Director of Lyons and held directorships in the Mansion House Association on Transport and the Automobile Association Limited. Walter was the eldest child of William and Rachel Gaunt and had been born in Bradford where his father was a commercial traveller in 'Bradford Stuffs' He was apprenticed to the Ashbury Carriage & Wagon Company of Manchester and, in 1897, moved to Stretford to take up the tramway manager’s post with Marshall Stevens in Trafford Park when only 23 years old. Marshall Stevens failed to persuade the Manchester and Salford Corporations to provide an electric tramway service to the new factories and reluctantly decided to go ahead independently and promoted Gaunt to manage both the electric and gas tramway systems. The new electric tramway opened in 1903, but prior to this date Gaunt bought four second-hand horse omnibuses to supplement the gas tram service which provided a workmen's service on the Estate away from the gas tram line. Then, still unable to secure through tramway services to Manchester or Salford, the Estates Company commissioned its own internal electric tramway. One high capacity tramcar trailer, specially ordered by Gaunt from the British Electric Car Company, accommodated 100 passengers. Gaunt was dissatisfied with the functioning of the trailer, particularly the time wasted at the terminus, so he had it converted to a motorised car, with a capacity of 132 passengers, the highest-capacity tramcar ever used in Britain. It entered service in this form in May 1904 with two conductors, one for each deck. By 1901 Gaunt and was living in Stretford with Kate (recorded in the census as his wife but no marriage certificate can be found in the National Archives records) but no children were recorded on the enumerator’s record. His income, as an Estate Manager, enabled him to employ a domestic servant. However, by 1905 Gaunt had departed to Letchworth, in Hertfordshire, after Marshall Steven’s had made a strong recommendation in his favour. The development of Letchworth, the first garden city, was the concept of Ebenezer Howard, and was an immensely influential idea. In 1905, the town was still at a very early stage of development, but was being well promoted. The parallel for Gaunt, between his arrival at Trafford Park in the earliest stages of its development, and his arrival in Letchworth was clear. He had proved himself in Trafford Park; now he was to prove himself in Letchworth. Just as had been the case at Trafford Park, things moved rather slowly at first. Too many people working on the estate did not live on it, and there was urgent need to build more cottages. And so with that background, in 1910, First Garden City Ltd felt that the time had come for Letchworth to have a local bus service and Gaunt played his part in securing this. During the First World War Walter Gaunt was Distribution Superintendent for the Board of Trade in connection with the rationing of coal, gas and electricity for which he received an OBE. He served on Letchworth’s Urban Council (1923-1947) and was also a member of the Hertfordshire County Council. He was a Justice of the Peace and Chairman of the local hospital. Later he was a member of the Salter Committee on Road and Rail Transport (in 1932), a member of the Transport Advisory Council and of Lord Reith’s Council for Physical Planning and Reconstruction. Gaunt received a CBE in January 1938 for his services to the Transport Advisory Council as representative of traders throughout the country, using transport of all kinds. By the time he joined Lyons he was both an acclaimed and influential person in transport circles joining at a time of phenomenal company growth. He is credited with having transformed the company's transport from 1,000 horse-drawn to 2,000 motor vehicles. When the Greenford tea factory opened in 1920 he played a major role in co-ordinating the road, canal and railway traffic. Acknowledgement is made to Edward Gray for the early career detail of Walter Gaunt and is taken from his book: Trafford Park Tramways, Oakwood Press. 1964. The Letchworth detail is provided by Roger Atkinson. The Roads & Road Transport History Association.


GLUCKSTEIN, Isidore (1851-1920). One of ten children born to Samuel Gluckstein (1821-ì1873) and his wife Hannah (nee Joseph) on 13 August 1851. He was educated at Hartog's Academy and later at the Daventry Foundation School in Whitechapel. He entered his father's tobacco business in 1864 and developed a remarkable financial ability. He married Rose Cohen on 21 June 1876 and they had seven children. With his brother Montague and their brother-in-law they developed the Salmon & Gluckstein tobacco business and founded, with others, the catering and food manufacturing company of J. Lyons & Company Limited. He was a Director of J. Lyons & Company Limited and Strand Hotels Limited from their incorporation until his death at the Grand Hotel, Eastbourne on Friday 10 December 1920. He was buried at Willesden Cemetery on Sunday 12 December 1920.

 

 



GLUCKSTEIN, Isidore Montague (1890-1975) was a son of Montague and Matilda Gluckstein and was born on 2 November 1890 and died 16 January 1975. He was made a Director in 1925, Managing Director in 1940, Chairman of the Board in 1956 and, in 1961, became the company's first President. He was generally referred to among his colleagues as I.M.G. and to his family as 'Dore'. Educated at St Paul's School, London, he represented the school in both cricket and rugby. He studied law and classics at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge and obtained his MA in 1920. On 19 October 1920 he married Rosalind Adler whose father was Chaplain to the Forces during WW 1. Although I.M.G. became a member of the Inner Temple and was called to the Bar in 1919 he never practised. He became a member of the Officers Training Corps in August 1914 and joined the 10th London Regiment. While serving as Captain in the trenches he was badly wounded and mentioned in dispatches. This, however, did not prevent him from leading an active life thereafter. He played cricket for the Lyons Club in the 1920s as well as tennis and hockey. His career began as an apprentice in the Trocadero Restaurant kitchens, subsequently gaining experience at various aspects of the company's business in Cadby Hall, Popular Café, Strand Palace Hotel, Regent Palace Hotel and in the colossal catering operation at the British Empire Exhibition, Wembley, in 1924. Later he referred to this period as 'probably the most interesting and certainly the most exhausting experience of my working life'. In 1925 he took charge of the teashops until the end of the Second World War. This period not only marked a great expansion of the teashops but also their decline and the move to self-service in the war years. The first self-service teashop was introduced in 1941 in Oxford Street, London. Between 1940-1945 he was Chief Executive Officer of the London County Council Feeding Scheme. After he relinquished responsibility of the teashops he was put in charge of the company's property portfolio. I.M.G. was also a director of Strand Hotels Ltd and Palace Hotel Ltd, both subsidiaries of Lyons. He was a life member of the Caterers Association of Great Britain and Life Vice-President of the Catering Trades Benevolent Association. He was a trustee of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue and a member of the Board of Management of St Mary's Hospital, Paddington. Fishing was one of his favourite pastimes and he was Vice-President of the Anglers Co-operative Association. His club was Flyfishers'. Though his public and business life was outstandingly successful, his private life had much sorrow. His only son, Bruce, died of wounds at Anzio Beach-Head in March 1944, and his only daughter, Cynthia, died in December 1950 while still in her twenties. His wife died in 1973. I.M.G's sister, Emma, was married to Julius Salmon.


GLUCKSTEIN, Leonard (1907-1970) was the grandson of Isidore Gluckstein and the son of Barnett Gluckstein and was born on 18 June 1907. He served as director between 1941-1970. Leonard Gluckstein joined the company in 1929 from Cambridge University and after training, his first managerial responsibilities were for the Coventry Street Corner House and the Soft Drinks and Preserves operation at Rannoch Road. In 1931 he married Joan Tanburn and this marriage produced three children, two daughters and one son, Michael, who was the chief executive of the Tea Division. During the early part of the war he was catering advisor to Anti-Aircraft Command with the rank of major. Towards the end of the war, after leaving the army, he headed a team experimenting with the new technique of freezing cooked food for subsequent re-heating in teashops and aircraft. In 1946 he was heavily involved in the establishment of the Lyons Pension Fund and the associated death benefit scheme. In the 1950s as chairman of O. R. Groves he was responsible for the development of the Sunkap orange drink business. He also negotiated a 49 per cent share in Rose Kia-Ora Sales and, with Schweppes, a corresponding stake in O. R. Groves. In 1965 he was appointed chairman of The Strand Hotel Ltd. Leonard Gluckstein died on 17 January 1970.

 

 



GLUCKSTEIN, Montague (1854-1922). Brother of Isidore, he was born at 35 Crown Street (now Charing Cross Road) on 18 July 1854. His Father, Samuel Gluckstein, had started the family's first tobacco business from this address. Although younger than Isidore, he was far more at ease with people and had a persuasive and confident manner. Like his brother he was educated at Hartog's Academy and the Daventry Foundation School in Whitechapel, and joined the family's tobacco business. On 6 February 1884 he married Matilda Franks and they had three children, all of whom married consanguineously. He held other directorships in the Westminster Electric Supply Corporation, the Guardian Assurance Company and the Pall Mall Electric Light Company. Montague Gluckstein was a Director of J. Lyons & Company Limited (he became Chairman in 1917 after Joseph Lyons died) and Strand Hotels Limited from their incorporation until his death on 7 October 1922.

 

 


GLUCKSTEIN, Samuel (1821-1873). One of eight children of Lehman Meyer Gluckstein and Helena Horn. Samuel Gluckstein was born in Reinberg, Prussia on 4 January 1821 and came to Britain in 1841. On his arrival in Britain he lodged with his aunt, Julia Joseph, in Spitalfields, London and married her daughter Hannah on 25 May 1845. Samuel and Hannah had 12 children, two of whom died in infancy. He was naturalised a British citizen on 10 August 1861. With his brother Henry he started a cigar making business from 35 Crown Street (now Charing Cross Road) and later moved to Leman Street, Aldgate. After partnership disagreements the business was dissolved in the Chancery Court and the assets divided. He started another cigar manufacturing business with two sons (Isidore and Montague) and his son-in-law Barnett Salmon, husband of his daughter Helena. Samuel was not a healthy man; he had been nursed by his wife before their marriage, and he died of diabetes on 23 January 1873 at 34 Whitechapel Road aged 52 years.

 

 


GLUCKSTEIN, Samuel Montague MC (1884-1928) was the first son of Montague Gluckstein (1854-1922) and was born on 28 October 1884. His brother, Isidore Gluckstein became the company's Managing Director. Both were grandchildren of the original Samuel Gluckstein. Sam Gluckstein married Johanna Koppenhagen on 17 June 1908 and they had two sons; Douglas Montague and Guy Ferdinand Montague. Sam Gluckstein had suffered ill health during the whole of his life but had participated in the company's activities from his school days. He was particularly interested in motor transport, engineering and other scientific subjects. He used these interests during his employment at Lyons where he worked in the Motor Transport, Engineering, Electrical and Laboratory Departments. He participated actively in the Rotarian movement and was interested in prison reform acting on the Wormwood Scrubbs Prison Committee. In this connection he did much good work in finding situations for people who had been discharged from prison. He was a keen rifleman and participated in the Lyons Club activities in this respect. Sam Gluckstein was made a director in 1914 a position he held until his death in 1928. Although his health was indifferent he joined the army in the early part of the war. While in France he was repatriated back to England for a serious internal operation. Still very ill he returned to France and was awarded the Military Cross for leading a party of men to clear bombs from an aeroplane shed which had been set on fire by enemy action. He died on 29 August 1928 following yet another operation.