the cacophony of industry
Banging, clanging, chugging, the unmistakable and welcome sound of the claxon declaring a work day finish. These were the sounds that enveloped Greenock; wrapped the town in a cacophony of industry from end to end. Over time, little by little, the town was silenced as it's industry faded. The town's heartbeat grew quiet and fell into silence.
"I feel each artist really excelled in pushing ideas and sharing these through visual art, song, poetry and storytelling.."
In 1919, despite the dip that only a war could levy on the people, industry flourished.
“It does not owe its growth and prosperity to some stroke of good luck, nor has its history been marked by wild commercial adventures which have afterwards burst and given the place a chequered sequence of wealth and poverty.” The town's business, with sugar being just one of the mainstay industries, had been built on solid foundations of skill and strategy – a measured consolidation of best practice and forward thinking. The wheels of industry were turning noisily in 1919 and the subsequent decades had grown quieter until the wheels stopped turning and fell silent. From 1765 to June 1992 when the vessel 'Fidelity' unloaded the very last cargo of sugar onto the James Watt Dock, Greenock remained the pioneering centre of the sugar industry. Through the artistic perception of the Absent Voices 8 the industry has been given a voice, bringing to life the historical narrative using creative expression. Alec Galloway reflecting on the moment he realised that the sugar industry had been dwarfed by shipbuilding says “ I think the single moment that I thought about the idea was during a visit to the McLean museum and seeing just one dedicated glass display case to sugar. It seemed totally inadequate in representing a once mighty force within the region.”