Just earlier today I watched “Michael Sheen: The Fight for My Steel Town” (originally broadcast on 8 June 2016) on BBC iPlayer. I know, a bit late, but still good to see the period stretching from my last few months in Port Talbot until my first few months of retirement, and see how other people lived through the same period.
Since my decision had already been made a year before, I did not endure the same agony as some of the people in the documentary, but still my heart bleeds to see the upset caused by the rollercoaster ride of early 2016. It makes me realise how lucky I was to be able to jump ship on a full pension aged 60. Had I been born half a year later, things might have turned completely different, and I might not have been sitting here contemplating how things might have been. I would have been in the thick of it, and probably feeling trapped.
A pity that there appears to be no sequel planned – I would have been curious how the last six months looked like by the people that still hope to sit the storm out. But then again, that’s the media for you: as long as there’s the threat of redundancies, strikes or closures, the cameras are in place to record what happens. As soon as the initial panic is over, the world forgets about you, even though for those trapped, the problem of uncertainty hasn’t gone away.