Town's saddened that Lister's is moving out
By Stroud Life | Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 07:00
SADNESS and disappointment has followed the news that Lister Petter is to leave Dursley after almost 160 years.
From left, Stroud District Council leader Coun Geoff Wheeler, Lister Petter MD Pat Comer and Peter Davies, development manager of St Modwen Properties, which owns Quedgeley West Business Park in Hardwicke.
The diesel engine company is moving 11 miles up the A38 to the Quedgeley West Business Park in spring 2014.
Councillors and the firm's boss said the 200 jobs involved were remaining in the Stroud district since the new factory would be built in Hardwicke.
But former Dursley mayor Gerry Pierce was among many who were saddened because the Lister name had been a part of the town since Robert Ashton Lister started repairing farm machinery from a water mill in 1867.
He said: "It is in the hearts of a lot of people. Lister's put Dursley on the map. We are know worldwide for Lister products."
Retired Lister worker Hugh Tipper, 68, spent 45 years with the firm.
He rose from apprentice fitte r and turner, through machine shop supervisor and then manager roles to become production director.
"I share the disappointment that the company is moving out of Dursley and recognise the difficulties there will be for many people in having to travel to work," Mr Tipper said.
"The majority of people I know who still work there either walk or cycle to work. They are not the best paid. Most people would give the time to travel but would there will be compensation for the cost?"
In its heyday in around 1978, Lister's group employed around 3,400 people.
Its new £2million purpose-built factory, warehouse and offices would continue Lister Petter's historic association with Gloucestershire, its chief executive officer Bryan Draper said.
Valued, skilled employees would be retained and further jobs created, he said.
Dursley Heritage Centre already has an exhibition of Lister history.