Clo­sure ripped through so­cial fab­ric of town

Herald Express - - By Gones - BY NICK PAN­NELL

STAN­DARD Tele­phones and Ca­bles, or STC for short, was an elec­tron­ics com­pany on the edge of Paignton which in the post-war years be­came a ma­jor em­ployer in the town.

It was big enough to have its own so­cial club and sports fields and teams played in all the lo­cal leagues, from darts to foot­ball.

For those em­ployed there it was the cen­tre of their so­cial life as well as a work­place.

That’s well il­lus­trated this week with these pho­tos sent in by Ma­jor Ron Good­win of Paignton, whose par­ents worked there.

He writes: “It was most likely a fun fam­ily day. Dad worked at STC for around 20 years, and mum was also a mem­ber of the club where even when dad re­tired he did the door and it was hard to get in with­out buy­ing a raf­fle ticket. When I was in the army I looked for­ward to go­ing in the club when on leave. A lot of peo­ple missed the so­cial life when it closed.”

STC be­came North­ern Tele­com (Nor­tel) and in the 1990s em­ployed up to 5,000 peo­ple.

It ran into trou­ble, thou­sands were laid off, and was even­tu­ally taken over by Bookham, which switched pro­duc­tion to China leav­ing just a man­age­ment and re­search team in Paignton, with the busi­ness now known as Oclaro.

The clo­sures saw the end of the so­cial club and its many teams, tak­ing with it part of the town’s com­mu­nity spirit.

STC fac­tory floor dur­ing the boom years in Paignton in June 1987

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