Rolly heroes on big screen
Four decades after their brave act of solidarity defied a Chilean dictatorship, a group of Rolly workers are to grace the silver screen in their home town.
Pensioners Bob Fulton, Stuart Barrie, John Keenan and Robert Somerville’s star turn in two-time BAFTA Scotland nominated documentary film Nae Pasaran! hits East Kilbride Odeon Luxe this Friday.
In 1974, Bob – a Rolls-Royce engine inspector and Second World War veteran – put his job on the line to boycott work on the Chilean military jet engines in protest against their use during air raids on Santiago.
Speaking about the emotionallycharged film this week, great-grandad Bob, 95, told the News:“I am proud that the actions at Rolls-Royce in East Kilbride have become a small part of the town’s history.”
The 95-year-old is a World War II vet, serving with the 7th British Armoured Brigade, who learned to repair tank engines and fought from Italy to Germany between 1943 and 1945.
He married after the war and moved to East Kilbride to work for Rolls-Royce.
He became an engine inspector and retired in 1982. He lives in East Mains.
The 72-year-old worked next to Bob at Rolls-Royce. Skilled with the pencil, he would often leave anonymous drawings and poems around the factory to highlight an injustice or an issue management or his colleagues had ignored.
He ended up writing poems for most of the guys as they retired. Stuart’s Youtube channel‘The Glasgow Poet’has a modest but loyal following. He lives in St Leonards.
The 81-year-old was the factory’s political firebrand and an engine inspector like Bob and Stuart.
A member of the works committee, he condemned the Chilean coup at their local meeting and put the full backing of the committee behind Bob on the day of the boycott, ensuring it spread through the entire factory without any repercussions on the workforce.
He received an MBE from Prince Charles in 2001 for his youth community work in Motherwell, where he still lives.
The 77-year-old worked on the assembly unit in the same block. He joined Rolls-Royce East Kilbride as an apprentice at the age of 15.
He was a member of the works committee, representing his union, at the time of the boycott. He was eventually elected as factory convenor until he retired.
John became chairman of the STUC and still works for the local Citizens’Advice Bureau. He lives in St Leonards.
Heroes of their day Ex-Rolly workers, from the left, Robert Somerville, Bob Fulton and Stuart Barrie
Honoured John, Robert and Bob are awarded their medals