Fred Wickstead was described as ‘the architect of Mitcheldean’. He joined The Rank Organisation in 1948 as Production Manager of British Acoustic Films, then making Bell & Howell cine equipment.
The production unit was housed in the old Mitcheldean brewery building.
The BAF, as it was known locally, subsequently became part of Rank Precision Industries and Fred took on increasing responsibility, eventually being appointed Chief Executive of the Cine & Photographic Division in 1958.
When the changeover to the manufacture of Xerographic was made in in the early 1960s and the company exploded rather than expanded, employees responded to the challenge under Mr Wickstead’s leadership.In 1965, they year we finally said goodbye to Bell & Howell products and production of the 914 and 813 shot ahead, the Plant became a part of Rank Xerox.
In 1966 he joined the Board of Rank Xerox (Management) Ltd and in 1967 was appointed Director of Production & Supply Operations, becoming a member of the Board of Rank Xerox in 1970.
In 1971 Fred Wickstead was appointed Vice President, Manufacturing & Logistics for Xerox Corporation based at corporate headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. He retired in 1975.
Work related photos included visits to Japan taken from an album ‘Fuji Xerox the 19th Anniversary’ loaned by the Wickstead family
Photos received from Trish Wickstead, daughter of Fred and Alice