FORMER workers at Hereford's Smart and Brown Factory have been re-living memories of working there.

They have recalled warm friendships and connections with the firm that extended across families and generations.

The lighting company, which was acquired by Thorn Lighting in 1951, had a factory in Hereford which eventually closed in 1999.

The trip down memory lane began on the Hereford Times' Facebook group We Grew Up in Hereford when Brian Davies shared a picture of factory workers in the 1970s.

Commenting on the photograph, Pat Preece said: "I worked on the lines for a couple of years some time around 1967-ish for about five or six years. I used to live the cheese rolls from somewhere, the canteen maybe."

Helen Oliver also shared a memory of a favourite lunch when she worked at the factory, saying: "Both my husband Keith Oliver and I worked there between 1968 and 1978. Great times working there and I can remember having a Danny's burger on a Friday at lunchtime. Best burgers ever!"

Kate Bon reminisced: "My mum worked there on the afternoon shift when we were babies in the late '60s."

Colin Edwards recognised the photo as in floodlight production, and said it showed end caps being assembled to the body extrusion.

"I spent hours fixing that machine," he said. "That particular floodlight was eventually replaced and the machine was scrapped.

"It was the best place I ever worked at, from 1971 until closure in 1999. It was a travesty that the directors picked Hereford for closure!"


Michelle Neary added: "Best place I've ever worked. I'd still be there now if it hadn't closed."

Several people agreed with Ms Neary's comment, saying they would still work there if it had remained open.

Janette Lloyd Harris said: "I left school at 15 and started work here, did my training and then on to the production line. This was in 1971. Some great memories were made there. I used to go and have a drink on a Friday afternoon after work in the Smart and Brown Sports and Social Club. My dad also worked nights as a security guard."

Sue Cambidge described the factory as "one big happy family".