THE C and T Harris Factory in Calne was a thriving centre of industry in the town until its demolition in 1984.

The bacon factory provided jobs for 2,000 people in Calne during the height of its success. At its peak, each week the bacon factory would process 5,000 pigs, producing 100 tonnes of pies, sausages and cooked meats.

Originally starting as a family butchers in the late 1800s, they had factories respectively on and behind the south side of the old Butcher Row and behind High Street. Over the course of a few years the business expanded causing the amalgamation of the two family butchers in 1888 to create the Harris Factory.

In 1919, the Harris family were also operating their own power station in Calne and producing electricity, not just for the factory, but for the town itself.

The closure of the factory was down to the recession in the 1970s, which had a big effect on the town and on industries, as well as direct competition from the Danish bacon industry. One of the final straws was Marks & Spencer, a major customer of the factory, cancelling its order.

In 1982 the Farmers Meat Company Ltd decided to close down the business, causing 20 per cent of the town's residents to lose their jobs. Before the closing of the factory 1,300 people were still employed there. Due to the forthcoming closure, 400 workers took early retirement or redundancy, while the other 900 stayed on hoping that a deal would be made to keep the factory open.

Sue Boddington, trustee of Calne Heritage Centre, said: “The factory was more like a second home to the workers. There were sports days, football teams and even a factory magazine. When it closed it was more than a loss of wage.”

With the unemployment rate and the issues the closure caused it was demolished in 1984 to make way for the redevelopment of the town centre. The site of the old Harris factory paved way for Calne Library which opened in March 2001, when the Queen attended. The site also became the location for a number of new houses for the town.