Burnley Civic Trust Heritage Image Collection

Michelin Do It The French Way

16 Mar 1973
Michelin, Heasandford Industrial Estate, Eastern Avenue, Burnley

Media Ref: BE73ng53451
Michelin Do It The French Way

Michelin's fire engine which carries a 500 gallon water supply. In the "hot seat" is Michelin fireman Mr J. Grindrod.

From an article by Bert Bolton:
Michelin believe in being self-sufficient. Anyone who has visited Clermont Ferrand in the foothills of France's Central Massif region will know that Clermont Ferrand is virtually Michelin. The workers and their families are looked after virtually from the cradle to the grave. Here in Burnley, Michelin have not reached the same size and influence of their French headquarters counterpart, but even so, they believe in doing things their way. And they look after their employees in the same paternal fashion. The Heasandford factory already has its own ambulance and is well on the way to building a £30,000 medical centre on the site, which will tend injured and sick workers. On the factory security side, the local firm can also boast its own fire station, complete with fire engine.

Not that Michelin feel that the local public ambulance and fire services are not up to the job. In fact the management is full of praise for the service they get from these emergency services. But as Mr T. Procter, factory manager, put it to me recently: "It's the few brief moments in between alerting these services and their arrival at the factory we have tried to cover." Factory trained personnel can tackle a blaze for the few brief minutes that it takes the local fire engines to arrive. Security personnel at the factory are hypersensitive about fire risk because the firm uses materials of a flammable nature in the manufacture of tyres, and also because a large new warehouse is now in service on the site.

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