When Albert Domenico De Cecco, a talented, young artisan, was headhunted from his Italian hometown in 1912, it marked the beginning of a long and prosperous career in tiling excellence – not only for him, but for generations to come.
That man was my grandfather – brought to the UK from North Eastern Italy by Diespeker, a firm originally formed in Hamburg by another Italian artisan who expanded into London and was one of the first to specialise in Terrazzo tiling.
Diespeker sought Alberto out and appointed him general manager of its Glasgow Marine division, in which he worked for nearly 8 years.
In the early 1900's ( 1919 ) Alberto joined Louis De Cecco & traded as Mattazoni & De Cecco, this continued for 14 years until it dis-solved 15th March 1933 with mutual consent. Alberto De Cecco kept on the business.
The business – headquartered in Clydeferry Street, under what is now known as the Kingston Bridge – went from strength to strength and, in 1939, at the start of World War II, was incorporated by my father, who was also named Alberto Dominico De Cecco.
As a limited company, A De Cecco then went on to lay Terrazzo and mosaic exclusively across the UK shipbuilding industry until the late 1950s.
Although this decade saw a shift in the marketplace and tiles became much more fashionable across domestic and commercial premises, young Alberto and his team continued to work almost exclusively in the marine industries, carrying out major tiling works on hundreds of ships built in UK shipyards and beyond, throughout the 1960s and early ‘70s.
Some of A De Cecco’s projects at that time included tiling work on the famous QE2 built at John Brown’s shipyard in Clydebank, as well as the formidable Canberra built by Harland & Wolf Belfast for P&O liners. My father and his team also completed a number of major refits to prestigious ocean-going liners in the early 1970s – both in the UK and internationally. Because of this, the firm’s work soon became well-known all over the world, including in places as far afield as Rio de Janeiro, New York, Malta, Rotterdam and the Caribbean. I had already joined the business by this point and helped it to diversify ahead of the marine industry’s decline. As a result, A De Cecco extended its offering to the construction industry – completing many high-profile renovation projects, such as the external mosaic cladding of the Hamilton County Buildings, The Burrell Museum, The Turnberry Hotel and Gleneagles Hotel.
Equally high-profile individuals, such as Scottish industrialist Sir William Lithgow, House of Lords life peer Lord MacFarlane and author J.K. Rowling have since been among the many clients to commission work from us – of which we are very proud.
Our current managing director, Alex Paton, came on-board during the mid 90s – initially as an accountant and then became financial director. Since then, Alex and I, whose collective experience spans more than 60 years, have helped the company to grow significantly – bolstered, of course, by our highly-talented management team. Some of our more recent commercial projects have included Union Square Shopping Mall, Aberdeen; Gleneagles Hotel’s leisure complex; Glasgow subway stations, and The Glasgow Commonwealth Games Village.
The rest, as they say, is history. We do hope you enjoy browsing through our projects as much as we’ve enjoyed working on them and look forward to answering any queries you may have.
Warm regards, Alberto Louis De Cecco, Chairman