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AUSTRALIA - Clear view of glass

Post Time:Nov 26,2008Classify:Industry NewsView:421

KEN Purdham’s fascination with glass has been etched into the pages of history.

The Emerald historian has just released his latest book on the former Pilkington Australia glass plant in Dandenong.

His book titled, By the Banks of a Glass River, celebrates the lost era of the factory and its people.

Mr Purdham said the glass factory was in his blood and he wanted to get its story down on paper.

“The factory is a part of me,” he said.

The factory was officially opened in Greens Road in 1974 and soon became a landmark for Dandenong.

It was described as one of the most significant events since the establishment of Australia’s glass making industry.

In 2007 the factory was bought out by CSR and renamed to Viridian.

With the plant starting a new chapter, Mr Purdham seized the opportunity to release his new book on the glass industry’s by-gone era.

Pilkington’s is close to Mr Purdham’s heart after working at the factory for more than 35 years as a glass maker.

He started work at the plant in 1973 and has been there ever since.

Mr Purdham never imagined that 35 years later he would see the Pilkington’s era come to an end.

He recalled how a local paper came to write about the plant in 1974.

“I never guessed I’d be doing the same thing so many years later,” he said.

“We’ve had some great times, some tough times, some funny times and some sad times … now we begin a new era when the glass will flow again for new generations of glass makers.”

The Banks of a Glass River tells of the life and times of the cultural development of glass makers in Dandenong.

Mr Purdham has documented the rise of the industry in the 1970s and ‘80s when Pilkington’s monopolised the industry.

“It’s a tapestry, pictures of the past on the page and maybe an insight into why we are proud to say we are Pilkington people,” he said.

Former Pilkington’s CEO Roger Leeming said the book embodied the site’s history but also brought to life a deep insight into the people who created it.

The book is now available by emailing Mr Purdham at

Source: starnewsgroup.com.auAuthor: shangyi

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