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Last Updated:  Friday, 28 March, 2003, 15:50 GMT
Dr Martens factories close
Production line at Griggs factory
More than 1,000 jobs have been lost in the UK
The last shift of workers at Dr Martens factories in the UK have clocked off for the final time.

The firm which makes the shoes, R Griggs, announced in October it planned to cut costs by moving production to China.

The move has meant the loss of about 1,000 jobs at factories in Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Somerset.

Freddie Toolaram, who has worked at the Irthlingborough site in Northamptonshire for 11 years, said: "People were very, very angry - it just came out of the blue that we were going to lose our jobs in six months' time."

Knock-on effect

Shoes have been made at Irthlingborough for more than 100 years, and the famous Dr Martens design began in the 1970s.

The move to China means just a handful of office and design staff will remain in the UK.

John Tully of the Northamptonshire branch of union KFAT, said: "Apart from our members losing their jobs, it affects the local communities and it affects the suppliers, the leather producers, the component producers.

"This is really going to have a knock-on effect throughout the county."

The company says it regrets the redundancies, but has been working with the employees to help them re-train and find new jobs.

Final bow at Dr Martens factory
23 Mar 03 |  England
Dr Martens moves to China
24 Oct 02 |  England

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