Hundreds sign our coupons to keep Britvic and Unilever’s Norwich factories open

Just a few of the signed slips for the They Must Be Saved campaign to save Colman's and Britvic fact

Just a few of the signed slips for the They Must Be Saved campaign to save Colman's and Britvic factories in the Eastern Daily Press and the Norwich Evening News. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Hundreds of readers from across Norfolk have signed and returned our campaign coupons to keep Britvic and Unilever's Norwich factories open.

They include former workers, relatives and others who do not want to see two historic brands – Colman's Mustard and Robinsons drinks – leave our city.

It comes as the EDP and Evening News's online petition continues to gain traction, with almost 11,000 signatures so far.

Rod Bulldeath is one of just hundreds of people who signed and returned their campaign coupon.

The former shop steward and union member, from Norwich, once fought to keep Caley's Chocolate factory open in the city.

'You have to fight for these things,' he said. 'A lot of people told us we were wasting our time, but if you don't try you will never know.'

'I just hope the people of Norwich really get behind this latest campaign.'

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Mr Bulldeath, who is now in his 70s, collected around 20,000 signatures alongside other Caley's employees to keep the factory open at the time.

Despite it closing in 1996, he said it was important for people to take a stand.

He added: 'Colman's Mustard and Robinsons drinks have always been associated with Norwich.

'And it's very important to keep them here for future generations and because of the tradition.'

Some of the other comments left on our returned coupons include one from V Nixon, who said: 'The best years of my working life were for Colman's.'

Meanwhile, Miss M Myhill, of Hellesdon, said: 'This is my heritage. At least eight members of my family worked at Colman's.'

And Lynn Cooper, from Norwich, added: 'I'm 67 and have been brought up on Colman's Mustard.'

On Tuesday, October 3, Britvic announced plans to close its Norwich factory and switch production to other parts of the UK, hitting 242 jobs.

Later that morning Unilever, the maker of Colman's Mustard, announced it was considering its own future at the Bracondale site.

Saturday saw Norwich City fans wear shirts from when Colman's sponsored the Canaries - in a show of support for the workers at the two companies.

To sign the EDP and Evening's News's They Must Be Saved campaign cut out and return the attached coupon.