Former Mackie employees and local historians tell their stories and explain how Mackies grew from humble beginnings to become a world leading engineering firm. The programme has sad stories and plenty of legendary Belfast humour, as people explain what it was like during Belfast’s industrial heyday.
James Mackie & Sons was a textile machinery engineering plant and foundry. The company closed in 1999. At its height James Mackie & Sons was one of the largest employers in Belfast. The company was founded in the 19th century and was still owned and run by the Mackie family until the early 1970s at which time the family gave the company to its employees to be run as a workers co-operative.
In 1955 the company built a factory in India for the manufacture of machinery for jute mills. This was taken over by the Government of India in 1978. Through various changes it still exists as Lagan Engineering Company Ltd, a joint venture with the Government of India.