Listening to all the words spoken about the proposed steel closure in Port Talbot I am reminded of the one that occurred when I lived in North Wales.
M husband David was involved in the banking details of the closure of the Shotton steel works in the early eighties.
He was then a bank manager in Chester and it fell to him to talk to the hundreds of men involved about the compensation they could expect and how they should try to invest it or at least spend it wisely.
Councillors were laid on to try to help them make sense of losing their jobs.
Some expectations were unrealistic my husband reported...many had never had bank accounts and were reluctant to start then.
Talk of taking large suitcases to the pay out to hold the cash became a common joke.....but it really wasn't funny.
The villages around Shotton became very depressed areas with too many men trying to find too few jobs.
I now find it appalling that this is all happening again on an even larger scale....but it's the human cost I'm remembering.
I have no way of knowing if shutting Port Talbot makes sense in any economic sense...
I don't know why we are considering shutting down another British manufacturer in favour of cheap imports...but it feels wrong. And yes this is an emotional response..but do we have to lose our industrial base in this country...wasn't that what made us great in the first place?
It took decades for the villages around Deeside and Shotton to recover...the cost was great in human terms...I would hate to see it all happening again in Port Talbot.
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