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> Famous Port Dundas Distillery To Close, 200 years of history comes to an end
GG
post 1st Jul 2009, 10:55pm
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International drinks giant Diageo has announced that it will close one of Britain's oldest distilleries at Port Dundas in a bid the multi-national company says is to cut costs. The famous distillery north bank of the Forth and Clyde Canal can trace its history back to 1810.

The doors will close next year, 2010, when the distillery is due to celebrate its 200th anniversary on the site. A total of 140 jobs will go; a further 80 office-based staff will be moved from Dundas House at Port Dundas to another location in central Scotland over the next two years.

Glasgow Liberal Democrat MSP Robert Brown described the news as a "real blow". He said:
QUOTE
"It is now vital that the Scottish Government comes forward and does everything it can to support those affected by these job cuts. Ministers must work with local authorities to make sure that all the Diageo staff who lose their jobs are given individually tailored help to ensure they are re-employed or retrained as soon as possible."

Attached Image
Bottle wrapping at Port Dundas in the 1950s

Attached Image
Extension on the north bank of the Canal, 1970s

Background on Port Dundas from the Gazetteer for Scotland:
QUOTE
A district of north central Glasgow, Port Dundas lies a mile (1.5 km) to the north of the city centre. It developed as a landlocked terminal in the 1790s in association with the linking of the Glasgow branch of the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Monkland Canal. In the 19th century, the emergence of textile mills, chemical works, grain mills, distilleries, glassworks, iron foundries and engineering works turned the site into a flourishing industrial location. By the late 1960s many of these industries had declined, the original Port Dundas basin was drained and the M8 motorway constructed.

Attached Image

GG.
Photos Diageo.


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*Guest*
post 2nd Jul 2009, 12:55pm
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I'm sure that the local MP will already be on the case with a view to ensuring that the rights of the local people are protected and that Diageo makes some kind of reparation to the constituency.

It's at times like these that local people really need an effective politician to look after them........ oh wait a minute the local MP is [was] none other than the disgraced ex-speaker of the House of Commons Michael Martin and he's just lorded off to the the Lords with a 1,5000,000 pension.

The people of Springburn will have to wait 6 months for an MP but never mind because now they've got their very own LORD!!

Can Labour sink any further or crawl any lower?
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Rabbie
post 2nd Jul 2009, 03:05pm
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QUOTE (Guest @ 2nd Jul 2009, 01:12pm) *
Can Labour sink any further or crawl any lower?


You bet that can!

That motley shower of ne'er-do-wells could limbo dance under a snakes belly.


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deejbee
post 3rd Jul 2009, 03:55pm
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At the age of 17 (first job), I worked at the Distillery and I can almost smell the neat spirit coming off the end of the line, before being put into the barrels. I can also remember a couple of old guys filling up a jug with the stuff and disappearing into a corner to have a wee swig. How they'd lived long enough to be old guys defies belief.
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*Guest*
post 4th Jul 2009, 03:17pm
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Curious that the Holyrood Government is making representations to save jobs at this Diageo establishment while actively seeking ways to cut down on Scotland's consumption of that company's products.

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Paradu Kelly
post 4th Jul 2009, 07:03pm
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Jeez, I can understand why they shut the place down...Port Dundas Whiskey....never heard of it.
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cooper
post 5th Jul 2009, 12:23pm
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Sorry to hear Diageo closing port dundas distillery,Served my apprentiship at White Horse early 50.s.Many fond memories of the old place,but in this modern world things move on,i know that is no consolation to the many workers losing their jobs.Ican only say i wish them all the best in the future.Cooper
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GG
post 11th Jul 2009, 08:41am
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Anything fatcat politicians can do, fatcat corporates can do better:
QUOTE
Diageo fatcats spent fortune on corporate trip to rugby in South Africa - as they drew up plans to axe Scots jobs

The drinks giants' fatcat executives and their corporate pals went on the trip to watch the British and Irish Lions rugby team.

They flew business class and stayed in five-star hotels during the weeklong freebie.

Days later, the firm announced plans to close the Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock and the Port Dundas distillery in Glasgow.

Full story here:
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish...86908-21511547/

GG.


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GG
post 11th Jul 2009, 09:02am
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Found the following in a trade magazine, most interesting part in bold:
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Whisky is one of Scotland's most important exports and the Scotch Whisky Association estimates that 2% of all jobs in the country depend upon whisky production. The move therefore has political implications and the finance secretary for the ruling SNP party has urged Diageo to reconsider its plans. Harry Donaldson, Scotland secretary for the GMB trade union has suggested that 'strike action cannot be ruled out', but that at the moment the union was 'working with politicians to put together a plan to make Diageo change their minds.'

While the distillation and maturing of Scotch whisky can only be legally done in Scotland, there is now requirement for Diageo to carry out the bottling process in Scotland. Donaldson commented that 'the threat that Diageo could move their bottling and packaging elsewhere has been hanging over us for years' and although Diageo has committed to expanding its Leven bottling plant, the possibility of moving the process so that it takes place closer to its export markets must surely also be under consideration.

While the reduced global demand for Scotch will have had some bearing on Diageo's decision, the sustained growth in Scotch exports between 1998 and 2007 and the enthusiasm for the product in emerging markets would suggest that demand is likely to pick up once global economic conditions improve. The move to consolidate its Scotch facilities is therefore likely to be driven by a desire to cut costs rather than a belief that the current slump in demand will be sustained over the long term. This view is supported by the fact that Diageo has not announced any modifications of its plans to open a major new distillery in Northeast Scotland later this year, which will be the first of its kind to open in almost 30 years.

BMI Western Europe Food and Drinks Insights

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*Old Saracen*
post 15th Jul 2009, 07:31pm
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I remember my dad telling me about the secret narrow bore pipe that led from the distillery down to the canal and those in the know guarded it with their lives. Old wife's tale , maybe, but he believed it.
As a teen -ager I passed by every day to work on my bike but that's another story.
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**Duncan**
post 16th Jul 2009, 05:16pm
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Great site guys - lots of interesting stuff about my home town.

As well as closing Port Dundas, the numpties at Diageo are also proposing to take Johnnie Walker out of Kilmarnock.

These guys make Fred the Shred look like a financial wizard.

Although its not Glasgow, please feel free to show solidarity with the Johnnie Walker workers by signing the petition at:

http://www.gopetition.co.uk/online/29112.html

or even attending the march that is taking place on 26 July. Details here:

keepjohnniewalkerinkilmarnock.com
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*Tactical Voter*
post 19th Jul 2009, 02:08am
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It's quite ridiculous that while very important negotiations at Port Dundas are going on Glasgow North East does not have an MP. To be sure they rarely had a proper one when the now-disgraced ex-speaker lorded it over the local community, but at least they had one of sorts. If Labour does not call the by-election before the summer break then they will deserve all they get when they are humiliated [again] in October of November.
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Elma
post 27th Jul 2009, 06:02am
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I have just heard on the Late News on Global that the Johnnie Walker plant in Kilmarnock is to close in two years unless the protesters can get through to Diageo to keep it open.
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*Guest*
post 9th Jan 2010, 09:46pm
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I have worked at port dundas distillery for 37 years.

I will miss my fellow shift workers.
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GG
post 24th Mar 2012, 09:03am
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QUOTE (Elma @ 27th Jul 2009, 05:07am) *
I have just heard on the Late News on Global that the Johnnie Walker plant in Kilmarnock is to close in two years unless the protesters can get through to Diageo to keep it open.

Sadly, Elma, the Kilmarnock factory closed yesterday as yet another greedy multi-national brand (Diageo) put shareholder profits over the need to keep jobs in our communities. The drinks giant closed the Ayrshire fsctory, ending 200-year-old tradition of Johnnie Walker in Kilmarnock.

Workers Mary Burns, 60, and Sheila Mitchell, 61, who have 29 years’ service between them, said it was the “death of Kilmarnock”.

Mary said:
QUOTE
“I was hoping to stay on till I retire but I really feel for all the young ones who will need to look for a job. It is a very sad day for the workers and for Kilmarnock.”

Sheila said:
QUOTE
“It is utterly devastating for everyone and there is great sadness here today. It is the end of an era.”

Susan McCall, 55, said:
QUOTE
“We are Walker’s lassies and always will be. We are a family and we will continue to stick together and support one another through all the good and the bad times. This feels like a funeral today.”

The closure came yesyerday despite a huge campaign to save the jobs in Kilmarnock, including a march in 2009 when 20,000 people took to streets to protest the proposed plant closure.
Attached Image

Staff weep as final Johnnie Walker bottle leaves 'home'
http://www.scotsman.com/news/staff-weep-as...-home-1-2193867

GG.


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