Gerald Cooke joined us in pre-Rank Xerox days, originally intending to become a service engineer on Bell & Howell cine equipment. He quickly moved into an administrative role which involved distribution of Bell & Howell components
However, things were to change rapidly when Xerox came on site.
Cine equipment moved to Shepherds Bush and, like John Shields, Gerald went with it for a short time.
Returning to Mitcheldean, Gerald joined warehouse administration which was responsible for the distribution of
equipment world-wide — a role which was to increase in size, necessitating a move off-site to Gloucester Trading Estate.
“The warehouse was then headed up by Henry Berry, a big character, other larger than life characters also included amongst others Geoff Gray, Alan Phelps and Steve Ferriman.
The IDC (Intemational Distribution Centre) as the warehouse became known, reflecting its change in status, moved back to Mitcheldean in the early ’70s with the completion of buildings 41 and 42 (later known as buildings 1 & 2). Also during the early ’70s the UK joined the EEC, and from that point an ever-changing legal framework culminating in Customs kept Gerald and his colleagues busy and challenged.
From being a shipping clerk, Gerald progressed through supervisory to management posts, becoming administration manager for the supply centre.
As you might expect, his job has involved travel in Europe, to the US and to Japan. His second time out East was in connection with the QIP
he led concerning packaging box utilisation which won the Top Team Award in 1986.
More recently, Gerald has been appointed manager, non-production purchasing, and is currently leading a project on ‘In-transit tracking’
which is a key enabler for JIT manufacturing.
Gerald’s interests include music (something of an obsession), wine, books, politics and sport – watching rather than participating, although he enjoys squash and is an entertaining swimmer (‘in joke” with those who know him!)
The above is an extract from the Vision Magazine 200 from 1990.
Subsequently I moved into managing the Cost Down activity which provided very many challenges.
I retired in Dec 2000.