Kangol in Carlisle
The golden years
The factory bounded by Norfolk Street and Richardson Street in Carlisle and variously known as Kangol Magnet, ASE, Marmon, BSRD and latterly Breed and Key Safety has been, along with my family, a centre-stone of my life since I first set foot in the place as an interviewee in May 1971. In fact even now in 2017 as I’m putting the finishing touches to the book that I first mooted three years ago, I cannot drive along Norfolk Street without getting a lump in my throat.
I look at the modern-build housing and student village that now stands in its place and can only see the car-park, offices and despatch buildings that for so many years formed the frontage of this magnificent business, a business that through to the start of its demise in the mid-1990s was not only one of North Cumbria’s major employers with up to 1000 employees in and around Carlisle, it was the largest seatbelt and in-car safety company in the UK. With annual sales of around £50 million in the late 1980s and early 1990s and with up to 40% of that total being exported its contribution to the North Cumbrian economy and career prospects for so many was vast.
Paperback; 290 x 212mm
Black and white illustrations throughout