Havering councillor features on BBC documentary about Dagenham’s Ford factory
A Harold Hill councillor starred in a BBC documentary talking about his memories of the Ford Factory.
Denis O’Flynn, (Lab, Heaton) who worked at the Dagenham factory from 1954 to 1979, was one of the stars of documentary, Ford’s Dagenham Dream, which was broadcast on BBC Four on Monday October 8.
Denis said; “All the men that worked in the factory were good workers and were just superb.
“The factory made a massive contribution to the UK economy, nationally and internationally.”
In the documentary, Denis was seen talking about his time working as a moulder in the factory.
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In 1960 he became a shop steward, where he was instrumental in the go slow strike of 1961, when the company wanted to speed up the conveyor belt.
Denis, who turned down a promotion as manager three times said: “It was the most successful strike, the bosses wanted us to work as gravemen with the conveyor belt going really fast, but after a couple of months they backed down.
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“They tried three times to get me to become a manager, but I always said that my loyalty was on the shop floor, they also came to my house to speak to my wife so that she could force me to see sense, but they said that she was just as bad as me when they heard her response.”
The documentary also included personal testimonies from other people who worked at the factory.
Denis’ name was put forward to producers by another former worker at the factory.
Denis was filmed in his home in Rise Park talking about his memories.
He said: “At the beginning it was the worst place in the world to work because you had to be back from the toilet after two minutes and someone would just come to you at the end of the day and tell you that you were working over time, without asking.
“But I was a bit revoluntionary because I said that we should be asked if we wanted to do overtime and I also got them to give us safety shoes instead of cloggs.”
He added: “It ended up being a really nice place to work and they helped charities and the workers.”