Closure ripped through social fabric of town
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