Monday, 4 April 2016

The Tale of Peter Who Thought Things Weren't Made In Britain


The alarm rings and our economic nationalist awakes - we'll call him Peter. Rising from slumbering in his Silentnight bed (made in Barnoldswick in that bit of Lancashire that used to be Yorkshire), Peter stumbles across the room to the shower to conduct his morning ablutions.

Peter's a traditional sort of chap and likes good old-fashioned soap - Imperial Leather (made by Cussons in Manchester). It's the day of the week for hair washing and Peter lathers up with Head & Shoulders (from those nice Proctor & Gamble folk in Newcastle) and then shaves with products developed in Reading for Gillette.

His ablutions complete, Peter dresses in clothes nicely washed and pressed by his attentive wife. She uses an Ebac machine (made in Newton Aycliffe up in County Durham) and the washing powder is made by Unilever in the delightfully named Port Sunlight on Merseyside (as is the conditioner that makes everything soft and pleasantly odoured).

Coming downstairs Peter smiles as he ponders today's incisive commentary - a paen to a lost past of British manufacturing. But first it's breakfast - coffee (from Kenco at Banbury in Oxfordshire) with milk and sugar (from British Sugar's plant in Bury St Edmunds), a bowl of cornflakes (made by Kellogg's at Trafford Park) all followed by toast (Warburton's bread from Bolton) with butter (Country Life fresh from Nuneaton) and Baxter's jam (made by the eponymous family business in Moray).

Before leaving the house, Peter sits in the living room (on a sofa made by DFS in Leeds) and flicks through the papers, tutting all the while at the demise of Great Britain as a manufacturing nation. Slipping on his Church's brogues (from Northampton of course) he walks down the garden path and gets into his shiny Jaguar (made at Castle Bromwich in the lovely city of Birmingham) to drive into town.

Arriving at his desk, Peter nurses another coffee (from Nescafe's UK factory at Tutbury in Derbyshire) and gazes out the window (a PVC unit made for Everest in Sittingborne, Kent) trying to get the right combination of words for a corruscating and telling article about how Tory government means Britain no longer makes anything. Peter breaks off for a couple of meetings across the corridor in the big room. There are biscuits (made by United Biscuits up in Carlisle) and more coffee (Nescafe again from Derbyshire) which is served on the fine table (made by Hands in High Wycombe).

Peter returns to his desk - he knows the words he'll use now:

How I miss the old names of trusted brands, and the knowledge that these things had been made for generations by my fellow countrymen.

It is a terrible thing indeed that Britain no longer makes anything except for sale in "absurdly expensive luxury shops".



Shades said...

I think he may have been having a funny turn when he wrote that column.

asquith said...

If it's crockery he's after, we've got it all in Stoke. Emma Bridgewater, Burleigh and Wedgwood are the big-time international sellers, and it's pleasing to see something made in my city sold around the world. There CERTAINLY isn't enough, but there's some to be had. And it's not so famous but is what I'm all about. You can get a His Majesty mug, and for you perhaps a Yorkshire mug. (not made in Yorkshire ;) )

With the Donald and Bernie Sanders offering different flavours of 1950s perhaps it's time for that Gary Johnson to get disillusioned people's support.

Curmudgeon said...

Or indeed a pint of Carling brewed by Molson Coors in Burton-upon-Trent :-)

Although a pint of Landlord brewed by Taylors in Keighley would be far better.