Jobs blow

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LURGAN was set to suffer another major jobs blow at the end of 1986 with the ‘MAIL’ reporting the planned closure of linen handkerchief firm Seawright Douglas at Avenue Road.

According to the October 1986 report the firm, which had been operating since 1896, was forced to announce the closure because of “diminishing demand” for their products.

A total of 41 people were to face a bleak Christmas on the dole queue as a result of the enforced shutdown.

The majority of the workforce was female and drawn from the Lurgan/Craigavon areas.

Company managing director Miss Linda Seawright told the ‘MAIL’ there had been “a significant diminishing demand for our products” and this had forced the company to make the regrettable closure decision.

The family owned firm manufactured handkerchiefs, pillowcases and other linen products, a considerable amount exported.

However, the firm had been facing difficulties for some time and had been operating a three day week.

At its peak the company employed around 250 people.