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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Ulverston firm staff celebrate 65 years of saving lives

STAFF at a major Ulverston employer celebrated its 65th anniversary this week – and the millions of lives saved in that time.

To mark 65 years since the first batch of penicillin left the GalxoSmithKline factory in Ulverston, site manager Greig Rooney told staff how proud he was of all they have achieved since then.

He said the best estimates showed that the plant was directly responsible for helping to save 65 million people’s lives since 1948 through medicine produced on site.

In a speech to staff yesterday, he said: “What we do is truly amazing – we truly do save people’s lives.”

Back in 1948, he said, it would have been hard to imagine the site would be doing so well more than a decade into the next century. But in 2013, he added, GSK Ulverston is still going strong – much like other new developments to emerge in 1948, including the first Land Rover, the first Polo mint and the NHS.

Mr Rooney continued: “It is a very proud day. It is also key to celebrate it not only just with current staff but with members of original staff as well.”

So it was fitting that one of the first members of staff to set foot on the North Lonsdale Road site, Alec Swann, was invited to raise the commemorative anniversary flag yesterday.

One of the site’s employees, Jackie Cole, said she was impressed with the anniversary celebrations.

She said: “I think it’s fabulous. I have worked here for 25 years and I was here for the 50th anniversary.

“There were some issues going back a few years and some people might have thought we wouldn’t get to this stage so I think it’s fantastic.

“It has been a great day.”

Mr Rooney added: “The site has a fabulous history.

“What bonds the staff from previous years and today is we make life-saving products.

“Patients at the end of our supply chain are desperate for our medicine.

“That is why people stay here – they love the fact we are doing good.”

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