A more unusual economic strength was the tobacco industry, established on the Quai de Léon in 1736, having started out at the Manoir de Penanru on the opposite bank about fifty years earlier. Success demanded larger premises as the huge structure which remains today indicates. The factory only closed in 2004, although by then only 38 workers out of the thousand-odd employed in the heyday remained. Apart from the cigar production for which 'La Manufacture' was well-known, the business was also socially progressive, providing a creche, literacy classes and sick-pay.
We also had a look at the memorial of Tristan Corbière (and his father Edouard), and I read a short extract of the La Pastorale de Conlie to give the flavour of this avant-garde poet who died at 30 with just one self-published volume - Les Amours Jaune - to his name. His posthumous fame came from the acclaim of Verlaine: 'son vers vit, rit, pleure très peu, se moque bien et blague encore mieux.' The scandal of Conlie, during the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, where Breton conscripts were kept in camp in appalling conditions apparently because French generals feared 'an army of Chouans' (the counter-Revolutionary movement that had seen strong support in the Vendée and parts of Brittany) is a powerfully sour memory in Franco-Breton relations. The Bretons were finally sent ill-equipped into battle as canon-fodder: the French baying "Good dogs" as Corbière puts it.