Getting the News

There were many emotional scenes as people reacted to the closure announcement with shock, disbelief and panic as they worried about the future.

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That particular day, I’ll never forget it. I’ll never ever forget that day. I could tell you now who I was stood with, easily remember the Plant Manager stood up there telling us. I’ll never ever forget that day. Incredible!

I never ever thought it would come. Although we kept on saying, this place is closing, this is happening, that’s happening, you know. It was an incredible feeling. It was never meant to end this way, but unfortunately it has.

We actually found out from Sky News before we were told, which was shocking, I think, shocking. I think we all knew it was coming.

David C and Andy B

So, we came back in on the 25th. John Oldham, the Plant Manager, told us the announcement would be made at 11 o’clock and he was going to ask everybody to go home, that he was shutting down production for the day.

Because it would be difficult for people to concentrate having had that announcement. It’s a busy place and when you’re alert, you’re fine. But you can’t afford to have your mind drifting off and he realised it was going to be a tough day for a lot of people.

And when he had to make the announcement on the shop floor, he was struggling to compose himself. He did break a couple of times. In fact, when he finished they applauded him.

Patrick M

So, you all sort of go home in shock, don’t you? Well, I can still remember it now. Yeah, I was in shock.

A lot of people couldn’t believe it. They were absolutely shocked. But again, a lot of people were just waiting for that announcement. Even walking up to the building where the Plant Manager was going to announce it, people still thought he was going to announce, ‘Yes, we’ve got the 32,000 cabs'. I didn’t think that at all.

Russ M and Stephen B

And then to go and tell the shop floor that they'd just lost their jobs – were about to lose their jobs in nine months – was without doubt the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do.

The reaction was something again, I would never ever forget, it does give me no pleasure but everybody just clapped and gave me a standing ovation. And they lined up and there was probably 300 people shook my hand. It was hard, it was really hard.

John O

And seeing proper grown men and even our plant manager, you know, break down in tears, and people sort of sobbing and hugging, it was bloody awful actually, really awful.

Laurie G

Bit heart wrenching, bit upsetting really. Might have been only 22 years here but the place is leaving before I am leaving. It’s leaving me.

Michael R