Cadco affair remembered 50 years on

Cadco, Glenrothes 1963
Cadco, Glenrothes 1963

THE dramatic rise and fall of the Cadco empire is going to be the subject of an open day at Fife Council’s archive centre this month.

Fifty years ago this month, Cadco Development Limited held a press conference in Edinburgh to announce that they were bringing 2,000 jobs to Glenrothes.

The company promised to build three factories on the Queensway Industrial Estate, as well as plans to open a pig breeding unit at Whitehill and a supermarket in the town centre.

The fact that film star George Sanders was a director, with Sanders’ wife Benita Hume, Denis Loraine and Tom Roealso on the board, added spice to the whole affair.

But little did the unsuspecting public know that financial disaster was lurking in the not too distant future as Mr Loraine persuaded the Glenrothes Development Corporation that the construction work should be carried out by Cadco’s own building company.

What started as a good news story in 1963, soon turned sour.

By October, 1964 all work had stopped because the Cadco Building Company had not paid its sub-contractors and suppliers. It turned out that the money the Development Corporation had paid to Cadco for building work had been used instead to help the failing Royal Victoria Sausages Company.

As the hoped for jobs evaporated, the Corporation, the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Board of Trade all had to explain how they been taken in by Denis Loraine and Cadco.

Original Gazette reporter Alex Shand was the first to break the story in what became a national scandal and 50 years on the affair can be analysed as part of an open day at Fife Council’s Markinch Archive Centre on Thursday.

The pubic will be given access to documents, photographs and other material related to the Cadco affair as part of the 50th anniversary of the affair. The event runs from 10.00a.m until 4.00p.m. and is free.