Those lazy Northerners of old

(A guest article written by Peter Moore)

You may know that I spent all of my working life in the Motor Industry, initially in a factory that made fuel systems for the UK motor manufacturers. We were based just outside of London.

My work colleague was an ambitious young guy called Ron Jesson, if he is still alive he will be a very old man now.

But Ron really wanted to ‘get on’ so he moved to Southport and took a new job with Triumph Cars at Speke in Liverpool, supervising the carburettor installations on the TR7 sports car.

Soon after, he called me in a state of total shock.

He said that he was experiencing hostility from his new colleagues since he was working ‘too hard’. He said that theft was rife and almost regarded as a normal perk.

The work force existed in a state of sullen anger with go slow’s, work to rule and strikes happening at the drop of a hat.

He said that if the local football team lost, that on Monday there would be mass absenteeism and acts of deliberate sabotage.

The ultimate weapon used by the production line staff if they felt like bringing the factory to a halt, was to deliberately tip a car ‘off the track’.

My Pal was rather stuck as he had moved his family to Liverpool, so he kept his head down and behaved like the others who in his view did not want to build cars at all.

TR7 production moved to the Midlands at some point but not in time to rescue the poor reputation of the vehicle.

I am sure that when the thieving saboteurs all lost their jobs, they looked for someone to blame i.e. anyone but themselves.  Nothing much changes up there does it.

Peter Moore.
(Guest Author)


  1. TR7 as built in Speke wouldn't have stood much of a commercial chance due to its Morris Marina Underpinnings . It was intended to replace the highly thought of TR6 but for political reasons only came to the market as a FHC. After production was moved away the Car was given a 5 speed gearbox and also made avalable in a soft top version.


  2. I too worked in the motor industry and experienced poor attitudes from both mangement and blue collar workers….it was a mess and not solely the blame of those on the production line .


  3. Surely you are mistaken, Anonymous.

    None of the TR range of sports cars had any connection with Morris/BMC vehicles. It was MG and Austin Healey that recycled bits of the BMC saloon car range.

    The TR's started out with a derivation of a Massey Harris tractor engine. By the time that the TR6 came around it was still recognisably a TR but modernised and with an engine based on the Triumph 2000 saloon. The dreadful TR7 was based around bits of Triumph Dolomite.

    Maybe you have lifted stuff from Wikipedia and got it wrong.

    But my point was not about whether it was a good sports car or not. The point was that the workers were not interested in putting them together with decent quality or even in putting them together at all.

    Perhaps you should identify yourself so as not to tar other Anonymous's when you make errors.

    Peter Moore.


  4. As one of these accursed Northerners, I do have a few acquaintances who work in the Speke factory. Apparently they now make Range Rovers and are doing so well they're actually recruiting more staff. Perhaps times have changed for the better?


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