Burnley Civic Trust Heritage Image Collection

Burnley's First New Industry

14 Apr 1971
Prestige, Colne Road, Burnley

Media Ref: BE71ng47456
Burnley's First New Industry
Burnley's First New Industry (4) Burnley's First New Industry (4) Burnley's First New Industry (4)

Mr. Kal Lovegreen (personnel manager) and Mr. Bert Watson with (in the background) some of the huge machines used at the Prestige factory. Kal had been a police constable and retired as an inspector in 1960 and went to Prestige. Bert is a foreman who will qualify for his gold watch this Christmas having worked for Prestige since the war and completed his 25 years' service. He has been able to work his way up to senior foreman in the cutlery section which employs 150 men and women.

From the thirteenth of an Express weekly industrial feature "We Can Make It" by Allan Halstead. The series outlines each firm's history and development and tells the story of ordinary people. It was linked with a competition "Unsung Hero '71" with a prize of a holiday in Ireland with a companion. To find all this series of articles search the website using the words - unsung hero.

Prestige was the first of the town's new industries - the outrider of "diversification" which permitted Burnley to change from a textile town to light engineering. In those days when unemployment was rife it was a desperate gamble for Council members to risk using public money, without Government permission, to build the factory. Ekco Products of America decided to produce goods in Britain which they had previously shipped here and the head of the company, Mr. Edward Keating, chose the Burnley site. A new name was required and "Platers and Stampers" was chosen but this was replaced by a more inspiring name in 1956 to reflect the prestigious goods produced. Today Burnley's Prestige Group premises are the headquarters of a worldwide concern with factories in other parts of Britain, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, France, Belgium and Germany.

The firm has played a role not only in the corporate life of the town but also in giving a living and a good measure of happiness to many individuals with a family atmosphere and a supportive personnel and training department. It has also played a part in the revolution in domestic homes, producing superior cutlery and other kitchen wares.

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