Nostalgia: 40 years have passed since the closure of the Garrard factory in Swindon


The precision-engineered manufacturer, famous for its high-end record players, moved into a building in Newcastle Street in 1919 with 30 employees.

Further factories opened at Okus and Marlborough Road after the Second World War and the company was a popular place to work – particularly as an alternative to GWR work.

Employees enjoyed a busy program of social events and there were groups ranging from darts, cricket and bowling teams to a horticultural society.

Day trips took workers to Weston-super-Mare and to watch Chelsea play Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

Following the company’s sale to Plessey in 1960, it began to struggle with cheaper imports from Japan. In 1979 it was purchased by a Brazilian company.

And although music industry experts praised the products made by the highly skilled workforce, the assembly line was finally closed in 1982.

The factory, which had survived a major fire in 1958, was eventually demolished and the site is now home to The Range and Halfords.

The Garrard name survived after being fired from American companies producing cassette decks, CD players, turntables and other products.

Vintage Garrard turntables produced in Swindon can change hands for thousands of pounds.


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