One of the first actions of our Chief Executive James Staughton when he became Managing Director in 2000 was to axe the hooter as he, like many, believed the hooter to be an outdated system of controlling and dictating work patterns.
So, for nearly 20 years, the hooter has fallen silent, except for annual outings on Remembrance Day, blowing at 11am on Armistice Day in recognition of those who gave their lives in service of their country across the years.
However, across those 20 years, we've received numerous laments from local townspeople who missed the old hooter, claiming they used to run their day by it and the nostalgia that has built up across the years has finally given cause to reflect on the situation.
As James explained: “Despite many requests for its return, we wanted as much water to have passed under the bridge as possible so that it wouldn’t be taken as an instigator of working shifts or a call to work. I think nearly 20 years is enough and we hope that the townsfolk who have missed the hooter will enjoy its return as a reminder of bygone days and we are sure that it will not prove a distraction to others.”
Henceforth, from Monday 7th January at 10am, the hooter will now blow once daily but not as a reminder of work patterns, rather as a ‘call to crib’, for people to come together socially for a hot drink, a biscuit and a chat should they wish to and if they have the time.