Rolly heroes on big screen

East Kilbride News - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

Bob Ful­ton

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.

Stu­art Bar­rie

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.

Robert Somerville

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.

John Keenan

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

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