A STUDENT is hoping to delve into the stories of ex-workers from Linwood’s old car factory for a university dissertation.

Andrew Quinn, 21, is looking to speak to former employees of the car plant to find out more about the effects of its closure in 1981, which sparked mass unemployment across Renfrewshire and  beyond.

The site - now home to the St James Business Centre - opened in 1963 as a Rootes plant and was later taken over by Chrysler before being sold to Peugeot Talbot.

Mr Quinn, who is studying history and Italian at the University of Glasgow, said he wanted to discover more about the personal impact the closure of the plant had on the staff and the devastation it caused for the Linwood community.

The Gazette: Andrew (pictured on the modern day site) wants to hear the stories of ex-workers Andrew (pictured on the modern day site) wants to hear the stories of ex-workers

He told The Gazette: “The closure of the plant was something I had heard about from quite a lot of different people but I never really knew much about it.

“I knew it had a massive impact on the community - not just in Linwood but surrounding areas too.

READ MORE: Joe aims to set record straight on sad demise of Renfrewshire car plant

“A crazy amount of jobs were lost. I know if that happened somewhere now it would be a really big thing.

“I want to find out more about the human aspect of it really. I want to know how it affected the workers as individuals. What did they do for work after they lost their jobs? I know unemployment can have a massive effect on people’s mental health and that’s not something which was talked about much at the time.

“I’m also keen to find out more about how it affected the community because I know things did go downhill a lot after the closure.

“I’ve already found people love talking about it, but I’m keen to hear from more.”

The Rootes plant was famous for producing the Hillman Imp - a revolutionary small car which went into production when the factory opened.

Later on it produced the Hillman Avenger - which was later badged as Chrysler and eventually Talbot - from 1970, and the Imp’s successor, the Sunbeam.

Any ex-employees of the plant who would be open to speaking with Mr Quinn, can email him at andrewj quinn97@gmail.com

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