Birkby’s closes its doors

SAD: Remaining Birkby's staff with the last piece ever made at the factory.
SAD: Remaining Birkby's staff with the last piece ever made at the factory.

AN historic Liversedge factory has closed its doors for the last time.

Birkby’s Plastics Limited ceased production last week and the final shift ended this morning.

Dock controller Tony Briscoe said: “The last piece was made at 4.15am on June 18. It was a right panel for a Honda Jazz car.

“A lot of people were really emotional. Everyone thought we were going to be there forever.

“It went from 400 people to 50 people and then that night the machines were turned off, and we were down to five people working in the dock.”

Tony, 49, said the five – including himself – completed their last shift in the early hours of this morning.

He said: “We have become really close. I was gutted when I heard Birkby’s was going to close. I have only been here for a year and I thought I was going to be here until I retired.

“You always hear of these closures and then someone comes in at the last minute – quite a few of us were hoping for that.”

The firm, established in 1867, went into administration in April, with 371 jobs lost.

Stunned workers were told a buyer could not be found for the ailing company, which has been operating at a loss for a number of years.

Administrators Ernst and Young said redundancies would come after operations at the 24 acre Headlands Road site were wound down.

All former Birkby’s employees are invited to a reunion at Brighton Street WMC in Heckmondwike on August 18.