Spam, spam, spam, spam... er, no more spam
The Newforge factory in Liverpool has shut with the loss of 140 jobs after 40 years of producing Spam under licence for a US company, the Hormel Food Corporation. The Spam for all of Europe will now be produced in Denmark instead.
Spam, which took its name from its ingredients of shoulder pork and ham, first entered the national consciousness as a convenience food 60 years ago.
It became known as the soldier's food during the Second World War and formed almost a daily part of servicemen's rations because it was convenient, easy to digest and contained protein. But for civilians also, it was often the only meat available in wartime Britain and was indispensable until rationing ended in 1954.
But it was the Monty Python team that immortalised Spam in British minds. In one classic sketch John Cleese, Michael Palin et al dressed as Vikings to sing the Spam Song (Lyrics: "Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, lovely Spam, wonderful Spam").
"I don't think we ever got permission from the company. We just went ahead," said Michael Palin. "In the end the Spam people were very keen and promised to send us several tins of free Spam. We said: `No, that's all right. Thanks anyway ..."'
The managing director of Newforge, Malcolm Johnson, said he was bitterly disappointed at losing the licence after investing pounds 1.5m in new machinery at the factory over the last 18 months.
Mr Johnson said: "The staff have been magnificent. They have worked hard right up to the last day, hoping something would come up. But it hasn't ... I have pleaded with Hormel but they would not budge."
In recent years, the factory churned out 12 million of the 60p cans a year with an annual turnover of approximately pounds 8m.
Mr Johnson said he believed that with Spam having made 70 per cent of Newforge's produce, the company would now have to wind down.
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
- 3 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...