The Netmaker

"The Netmaker" the story follows four families who are all linked in some way to the Wilkinsons Lemonade Factory that was bombed during WW2. This is a tribute to the 107 people who lost their lives on 3rd May 1941


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The rest of the lasses on line had a chuckle to themselves as Emily sealed up another box with twelve bottles of pop in it. The smaller bottles were sold to cinemas and the larger ones to shops.



The process of making lemonade is very simple. filtered water is added to a huge vat and lemons that have been mechanically squeezed are added along with sugar or syrup they are mixed together. The bottles usually 16 at a time are picked up and turned neck first where they are thoroughly washed in a soap solution then each bottle is rinsed and dried with hot air. Any chipped or faulted bottles are discarded. The bottles then go through another process where the Wilkinson’s lemonade label is added to each bottle with glue then they move along on a conveyor belt and filled once carbon dioxide has been added to the mixture. Once that has been completed the bottles move along again to the place where a screw top is placed on automatically but not to tight. Then the bottles move along to the packing department where they either go into crates or into boxes. Then the lemonade is ready for distribution.

On the other side of the factory Cans of lemonade are made using a roll of aluminium weighing over a ton. Small discs are cut from the roll then they are pressed into cup shapes then they move along where they are heated and pressed out into the cans that you see in the shops. They then go through a printing process and then the ink is dried. Each can is applied with a thin plastic coating inside to stop the acid corroding the metal and a layer of plastic placed on the bottom of the can so it can move along the conveyor belt easily The cans are now ready to be filled and once that is done they are automatically sealed. Over a million cans and bottles of pop are sold each week. All sheets of aluminium waste are sent back to be melted down and made into more sheets and the faulted or broken bottles melted down and made into new bottles.

The production line never stopped; they even had a laboratory where the lemonade was checked for acidity and bacteria.

Wilkinson’s prided themselves on their soft drinks and they sold their drinks all over the world.


“When Emily’s shift was over she went straight to the toilet and swallowed nearly half a bottle of Gordon’s Gin. She had become so dependent on the alcoholic drink now that she found that she could not get through the day without a drink.

“Each night she bought a bottle from the Galleon wine shop. At first it was one half bottle a week. Now she was consuming one litre per day. She looked like a zombie as she walked home that night hoping that the walk would have sobered her up enough to face her children. Of course she hadn’t and she relied more and more on Sam cooking something for Tom when he returned from work whilst she slept off the effects of the drink.

Tonight her son had made a corned beef and onion pie with potatoes, peas, and carrots, with Oxo gravy thickened with a little corn flour.


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