Never knew that about the Fairlane name...........
03-21-2017, 10:31 AM
Henry, thank you very much for this bit of Ford production history! I also did not know the origin of the Fairlane name and now we all do! It was interesting that they were first producing Fordson tractors! Good stuff!
03-21-2017, 08:23 PM
There is much more to this story and folks need to know what was happening at the time...
"The first tractors rolled off the Cork line in July 1919 and helped Britain with agriculture efforts during and after World War I.
...The Cork facility ceased assembly operations in 1984, but still operates as the headquarters for Ford of Ireland's operations."
Before the end of WWI, Ireland, Scotland and Wales were all part of England (the UK). Ireland gained their independence in 1919 but then Ireland declared themselves a 'neutral country' from then, to this day. Meaning, they made NO effort to help in WWII. Historically, since Ireland and England were at odds, Ireland leaned more towards Germany, which is where the IRA got their guns. (Enemies of my enemies are my friends, kind of thing.)
I visited this plant before they closed. The Press Officer, Patrick Gillen, met my wife and I at the gate. When I produced my ID from Ford, Dearborn, the guy nearly died. He said, "We have 'fil-ems' of Dearborn." I guess he had never visited Dearborn 'Mitch-igan', as they say.
Mr. Gillen bent over backwards for us and he said, "We are on the verge of a strike at the moment but I would be glad to give you a personal tour." Then he did.
The plant made small trucks for utility companies, not cars or tractors.
When the tour ended, he offered to book a room for us at the new Jurys Inn, in Cork.
When we invited him to join us he said, "Oh no, my wife's in hospital so I need to get home, straight away." My jaw dropped as I stood in awe, wondering why he wasn't with her.
Since the plant closed in the 1980s, I wonder why Ford kept the facility, especially in light of our domestic plants. Ford bought and sold them like someone might buy a house, then move. One plant in particular, Sterling Heights Axle Plant, was spun-off as Visteon, then sold outright, then Ford bought it back again. Imagine being a 'loyal employee' at that plant... - Dave
03-21-2017, 08:35 PM
It never ceases to amaze me regarding how much our fantastic webmaster knows about the Ford Company! I was very pleased when Henry posted the link to the Ireland facility. I am even more pleased that Dave then provided us with some personal history of it also and added to our knowledge of it!
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