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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 July, 2005, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Hopes of a new start on the coast
Norman Hanson
Norman says each rejection letter is a stop closer to a dream move
Three months ago Norman Hanson was made redundant from MG Rover. Now with several potential bidders hoping to resurrect some manufacturing at Longbridge he talks about how he has coped and his hopes for the future.

Mr Hanson, 48, a logistics operator for 20 years at the Longbridge plant, was one of the 5,000 employees who received their redundancy notices in April.

He lives with his wife Melanie, 48, and 16-year-old son Joseph in Selly Oak - he also has a 22-year-old daughter, Kimberly, who lives in Portsmouth.

I've calmed down a lot since the first couple of weeks when I was more panicky.

I've applied for about 20 jobs and I've had a few replies all saying the same thing, I've had no interviews.

I've applied for caretakers jobs, storeman jobs and handyman jobs, I was hoping for something by now.

Everywhere you go for work is swamped by Rover workers. Only about a quarter of my friends have got jobs, I know some people are struggling.

When I hear someone with a young family has gone for the same job as me I think 'I hope I don't get it'.

Trainee falconer

The people I know who have got jobs have had to retrain and by and large they are younger than me and can travel, whereas I can't drive.

I had a day trip to Devon and I saw a job vacancy that suited me down to the ground - as a trainee falconer - and I also picked up some details on houses for sale in Newton Abbot.

My wife told me to go for it but I didn't as I wasn't ready to move out from here then, but I am slowly getting there.

We've been thinking about it for years but it's never been quite the right time.

Rover workers leaving Longbridge
I'm glad they've got people who are trying to revive it, but it will never be the same
Norman Hanson
Each new rejection letter is a step closer to selling up and moving down there.

If you're going to be unemployed where would you rather be unemployed, although there are probably more job opportunities down there.

I've heard about the bids for the company but after what SIAC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) did to MG Rover I don't think they can be trusted.

I would trust David James more than SIAC but then again has he got the financial backing?

If they offered me a job I think I would have to go back there unless anything else came up in the meantime.

We'll probably be worked to the bone for less wages, I'm not even very hopeful I'd get a job at my age.

I'm glad they've got people who are trying to revive it because it is part of our heritage and there was a good bunch of lads up there, but it will never be the same.


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