IT'S 40 years since Garrard shut down its Swindon factory.

The precision engineering manufacturer, famous for top of the range record players, moved into a building in Newcastle Street in 1919 with 30 employees.

More factories opened in Okus and Marlborough Road following the Second World War and the firm was a popular place to work - especially as an alternative to the GWR works.

Employees benefitted from a busy social events programme and there were groups ranging from darts, cricket and skittles teams to a horticultural society.

Day trips took workers to Weston-super-Mare and to watch Chelsea play Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

In the wake of the firm's sale to Plessey in 1960 it began to struggle with cheaper imports from Japan. In 1979 it was bought by a Brazilian company.

And although music industry experts were full of praise for the products made by the highly skilled workforce, the assembly line was finally shut down in 1982.

The factory, which had survived a major fire in 1958, was eventually demolished and the site is now home to The Range and Halfords.

The Garrard name lived on after it was licensed to companies in America producing cassette decks, CD players, turntables and other products.

Vintage Garrard turntables produced in Swindon can change hands for thousands of pounds.