Chocs away as staff leave Cadbury's factory for last time
A final piece of history was made at the Cadbury's factory in Keynsham yesterday when the last team of workers completed their last shift.
Around 40 staff at the Somerdale factory downed tools at 1pm and made the short walk across the grounds of the plant to enjoy a last drink together at the Fry's Social Club.
Archive photographs of the Frys/Cadbury factory at Keynsham
As working life at the largely empty factory came to an end large cranes were parked outside the building in readiness to load heavy machinery onto waiting lorries to be shipped out to Poland.
The small group of staff left at the factory were making Double Deckers, but production at the famous old factory came to a halt in January.
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Although many of the staff said they have been well looked after by the firm there was still an air of sadness and resignation about the place.
One member of staff said: "I have worked here since I left school more than 30 years ago and to be honest with you it is a bit frightening.
"All I have ever known is working for Cadbury and I have never had to sign on or been on the dole before."
There is still some bitterness about the way American owned multi-national Kraft broke promises to keep the factory open only to dash hopes within a week of buying Cadbury in a deal worth £11.5 billion.
The staff were expecting to stay on for another week but have been given a week's paid leave by the firm.
Another worker said: "There is only a handful of management left and the rest of the people in there are contractors taking apart the machinery.
"To be honest there hasn't been a lot to do in the factory for about three months and we have been bored."
The last hurrah for the iconic factory came as Kraft chief executive again came under fire for hosting a lavish reception for MPs despite failing to answer questions on the Cadbury takeover.
Irene Rosenfeld has rebuffed three requests to appear before a Commons' committee after failing to honour a pledge to keep Somerdale open.
But the firm handed out free samples in the Commons on Monday at a reception.