Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Poole Pottery: The End

Following on from the closure of the Quay shop last week, the Poole Pottery factory has been closed today, leaving over 100 staff without jobs and without this month's pay just before Christmas.

There is a great deal of anger, amongst staff, unions and local people, about the insensitive timing of this announcement and the lack of advance warning. There are also suspicions that the closure has been intended all along by the latest management team. A planning application for a care home has already been placed for a section of the Sopers Lane factory site, although it has been refused.

Managing director Jeffrey Zemmel has announced that the factory may partially re-open in the New Year "leaner and fitter", although staff would have to re-apply for jobs. However, TGWU leader Bob Lanning, who met with the management yesterday, is reported as saying that the factory would no longer manufacture pottery but would import clay biscuit which would be painted and glazed at the factory.

Essentially, after playing a survival game for the last few years, it appears that Poole Pottery has finally folded. Any resurrection that does not include manufacturing can never truly be regarded as Poole Pottery. Thoughts of all those who hold the pottery in affection will today be with the staff in these difficult times, and on our memories of happier days at the factory.

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