Factories provided valuable jobs
SOUTH Devon never had many factories but those we did provided valuable employment.
Then came recession, competition from abroad and changing fashions and few now survive.
Standard Telephone and Cables had set up shop in Paignton in the 1950s and became provider of all-year-round jobs on its electronics production lines.
When it was taken over by Nortel in the 1990s employment topped 5,000 before a long retreat ended in the factory's closure.
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But it was not Torbay's oldest employer.
That accolade went to the Grant Marble Works at Watcombe which could trace its roots back to 1836.
They were still doing the business into the 1980s before moving to Newton Abbot.
Part of the old building remains but the rest of the site is now occupied by a terrace of houses.
Totnes has also lost a swath of manufacturing jobs.
In the post-war years townsfolk could rely on the Harris Bacon Factory, the creamery (later Dairy Crest) and Tuckers sweet factory for work but all three have been demolished and the sites put to other uses.
The sweet factory stood where Castle Court now stands.
Pollards Confectionery was another home grown industry with a factory in Newton Abbot.
It was taken over by Bristows of Crediton in 1992 and production switched there.
Sifam and Dairyfresh Desserts in Torquay, AVX and Wilton Bradley Plastics (after a devastating fire in 1999) in Paignton have gone the same way.
No wonder Torbay has the highest unemployment rate in the West Country.