A NEW exhibition of in Calne of photographs showing the demise of the town’s former Harris Factory has opened at the town’s heritage centre.

Sue Boddington, curator of Calne Heritage Centre said: “It is now 35 years since the last vestiges of the C&T Harris factory were demolished and the middle of Calne was left with an open green space.

“It was a devastating time for the many local people who were made redundant, some of whom never managed to find another job. These images will bring back melancholy memories to ex-Harris workers and their families, as it will to descendants of the Harris family.”

The photographs reveal how the old factory was broken down with heavy machinery crushing the stonework and reducing the buildings that once employed thousands of local people to rubble.

Mrs Boddington said that after the mid-1920s when pork processing business was taken over by Marsh and Baxter, then FMC in the 1960s, no members of the Harris family were involved in running the factory.

She said: “A number of factors combined to bring about the closure. Competition from the Danish bacon industry during a period of recession and a change in public taste towards a sweeter cure affected sales.

“Then Marks and Spencer cancelled the huge order they received from C&T Harris which was a crushing blow.

“Money was available from the EU to modernise the factory, but its location made it almost impossible to satisfy health and safety standards, so it was closed in July 1982.

“The black and white photographs on display were taken by Frank Dunlop during the demolition period and part of a collection of his photographs donated to the Centre several years ago.”Demolition, The Last Days of the C&T Harris Building in Visual Images runs at the Calne Heritage Centre, until June 23. Free. Open Wed-Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 2-4pm.