Readers invited to share memories of Port Sunlight for 125th anniversary festival (From Wirral Globe)
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Readers invited to share memories of Port Sunlight for 125th anniversary festival
WIRRAL Globe readers are being invited to play their part in the celebrations for Port Sunlight’s 125th anniversary.
The village was founded by Bolton-born businessman William Hesketh Lever, later the 1st Viscount Leverhulme, in 1888. A weekend-long festival marking its milestone will take place on September 21 and 22.
Its organisers are inviting visitors, residents, employees and all those with an interest in the village to share their memories and stories of the village over the years on Facebook: www.facebook.com/PortSunlight125
Jeannette Strickland, Unilever’s head of art, archives and records management said: “Our archives have such a wealth of artefacts that bring the history of the company to life and we’re really looking forward to sharing them with the community for the first time.
“However, what’s even more exciting is the opportunity to enrich the social history of our company and the village by asking employees, residents and visitors to contribute their stories on our Facebook page.”
In 1884 Lever, the son of a grocer, decided to specialise in selling individually wrapped bars of household soap and came up with the brand name “Sunlight”.
Successful sales meant production outgrew its first location in Warrington, so Lever chose what is now called Port Sunlight as the location of his new factory, due to its proximity to road, rail and water transport.
Today, around 2,000 Unilever employees are based in the village, which is still home to a home care factory, a global research and development facility and business support teams.
A new world-class personal care factory and hub will open on site next year, meaning approximately one third of the Unilever UK workforce will be based in the village.
Helping Facebook fans to jog their memories, the Unilever archives team will share rarely-seen photos, little-known facts and long-forgotten adverts of products which have been manufactured in the village over the past 125 years.
They will also encourage fans of the page to share their anecdotes and favourite memories about life in the village to create a virtual Port Sunlight community.
Head of archives Jeannette Strickland continued: “We’ve heard endless anecdotes over the years from people whose grandparents worked at the factory at a time when male employees dined separately from female employees, or people who found love in Port Sunlight.
“We’re hoping that some of our photographs will jolt memories and encourage everyone to come together to talk about what makes this village such a unique and special place in what is landmark year for us.”
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