Walker dismisses the allegations as 'ridiculous' and claims that he knows who Merlin is: 'an ex-employee who was dismissed more than 15 years ago. Since then he has been plaguing me with these kind of allegations'.
The editor of the local paper got into the act by asking readers to phone in if they knew Merlin's identity.
One person who fits the description is Peter Jowett, who admits he was sacked by Walker back in 1975 and has been brandishing sheaves of telexes which, he alleges, show that mild steel had regularly been supplied instead of the high- tensile steel that customers had specified.
Unfortunately his firm denials that he is Merlin have become a bit hysterical following an unpleasant incident at the paint factory where he works when the loudspeaker boomed out: 'Will Merlin please come to the phone?'
Meanwhile, British Steel is keeping mum, denying that there's any problem and claiming that it has even sponsored a recent golf tournament to promote the Walker steel name. Nevertheless the name has been removed from the five- foot facia on the firm's head office. And the purge has even extended to the initials of Walker pere, who founded the business with pounds 80 back in 1945.
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