Blog: No lock at the gate then...
Dave Leggett | 23 May 2007
There's something almost unbearably sad about a factory where all human activity - beyond the final coup de grace of demolition - has ceased. I know change is a fact of life, that fashions change, the old goes out and the new replaces it, of course. But it's still sad to see anything that was once impressive quietly fade away, no proper ceremony, no way of really marking that it once meant so much to so many people.
It was once a busy and noisy place, where thousands toiled to create something that they really believed was a good thing - as well as a means to making a decent living. Everyone (well, most people, most of the time) working together to one end. But times change, mistakes are made. Markets are unforgiving. The former industrial powerhouse now stands empty, decaying, stripped bare of anything even remotely valuable.
I don't want to reopen the Rover/BL/BMC/Austin wounds yet again, but these 'urban explorer' guys who walked into Longbridge when part of the place was about to be raised to the ground last year certainly shot some very poignant photographs. Sad, sad end.
Still, we'll know a little more about Nanjing's Longbridge plans next week. There's a media event on May 29th - a ceremony to herald the restart of assembly there (low volume, MG TF). Deputy editor Graeme Roberts will be there for just-auto.
According to Yu Jian Wei, CEO of Nanjing Automobile Corporation, the emergence of a few pre-production MG TFs down a tunnel created by curtains shielding a silent assembly line should be regarded as t...
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....