It was a terrible thing. Because nobody expected it. Nobody outside the directors knew it was going to happen. I mean – I charged - filled up every pot on the Friday night. Just came round - “We're closing!”
Leaving that aside. That was the thing to do. Because we had all that batch mix ready for the weekend. What are you going to do with it? You don't want it left there if you are going to close. You want it melted down into something which is innocuous. But I mean it was such a shock – such a shock - it devastated people. Lots of people who had worked at the place for ages, and their families had worked at the place for ages. It was all very sad as well. I won't say you can blame anything it was just how things had gone.
Because within another ten years all the other major factories had closed as well. It was the ingress of technology you know. Technology creeps in at the bottom end and takes all your bread and butter stuff away. And then you are only left with the stuff after that. You see melting from a tank furnace is totally different from melting from a pot furnace. Its a different world - but it was a very sad time.
The phone went and it was Roy Raiken's wife. She said “He's away. I've had the police on. There's propane escaping.” I thought 'Oh my God'. Because the electric railway line - your main Euston line - was just across the road from it. So I got in the car and sped off down there. First of all they would not let me in. There was everybody in the land there – police, ambulance, water, fire brigade. As soon as I walked through the arch I thought 'My time is up.' Because there was propane vapour about that deep completely covering the car park. I thought 'One spark here and we are all goners.'