Save our Somerdale
I have lived in Keynsham for fifty years and early on Horace Batchelor made the town famous with it’s name being spelt out on Radio Luxembourg, Keynsham spelt K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M. That passed.
In the late sixties early seventies planners and presumably councillors presided over the loss of much of the character in the High Street, the Lamb and Lark pub to name but one and the high pavements in Bath Hill where it joined the cottages in Temple Street.
The ruins of Keynsham Abbey were lost with the Keynsham By-Pass as I understand it.
Our cattle market was lost and the land now houses retirement flats.
We have a sign at the town boundary that reads Historic Market Town. Well there is no market and our history has been lost to progress, so called.
The one thing that has continued to be an anchor and the soul of the town has been Fry’s factory, yes I know it is owned by Cadbury but I would put money on most locals referring to the site and the factory as Fry’s.
Now, for commercial gain, that very anchor is to be ripped down and many hundreds of jobs transferred to factories abroad in a 'cost cutting' exercise.
Many people are outraged and we must do something between us to stop this. My campaign started as a wish to see the factory and power house become a listed site through English Heritage. That is still my wish and intention but as I have made plain right from the outset my best case scenario is for both the factory and the jobs to remain and Cadbury chocolate continue to be manufactured in the town.
When my intentions were given a public airing thanks to the Bristol Evening Post who are doing a sterling job and Radio Bristol I had a number of people make contact with me to offer support, one of those people was Steve Kirtley who offered to build a web site for me so that it would serve a variety of purposes.
It would give potentially world wide publicity to the battle to save 500 jobs and the factory building that has been part of the town for some 70 plus years. It is Keynsham’s industrial heritage, it is an historical link to early chocolate making in Bristol, it is a link to a family that put the welfare of its work force first. It is a factory and a site that forms part of the Avon Valley, it is integral to the townscape, it has an industrial beauty.
The web site will give a focus to any exchange of views and messages that people might have.
It will inform the community near and far of what is happening in the bid to change the mind of the factory owners, for example there is a local man who is eager to collect a petition from at least 50% of the town’s population, the council is making moves to try and save the factory as an ongoing business and seeking meetings with management, there is a petition on line to the Prime Minister plus much more.
This is a forum for the community, the workers and anyone else who feels that the jobs need to be retained, production needs to be retained and the building needs to be listed to remind future generations of just how Keynsham grew through the 1900s.
Who is Steve Kirtley? Well as I write this the only thing I can tell you about him is his name and his e-mail address and more importantly his willingness to step up to the mark to help save Cadbury’s and its place in Keynsham’s history. Thank you for that Steve.
If anyone wishes to contact me to help in anyway then they can do so on 0117 9837923 or e-mail email@example.com.
A proud resident of Keynsham.