Return to 1960-1964

Vision 005

We are now about to enter the New Year and I
think it is appropriate to look back upon our
progress during the past twelve months.
We have had a successful year and we have
considerably extended our product range.
Many more people are using our cameras and
projectors than were a year ago, and the name
Bell & Howell is still a symbol of high
This situation is not achieved by accident.
It represents the combined effort of nearly
1,000 people in an immense variety of
occupations, all working to one end. It is a
process in which we have all taken part and an
achievement of which we may well be proud.
We know that in the coming year we shall
experience increased competition, both
home and overseas. We can meet this
competition by keenness and efficiency and
working together as a team.
To my colleagues and friends, old and new –
may I thank you for your loyal support and
sincerely wish you a Happy, Healthy and, I
hope, Peaceful 1961.
Mr. Derek Hopes. in charge of the Export Dept
Mitcheldean. explains the features of the Sportstc,
IV to Mr. Ian Mikardo, prominent politician
business consultant. Mikardo visited Mitcheldean
on November /6 to finalise the arrangements
whereby he is to represent the Cine & Photographic
Division in Russia and East Germany. Mr.
Mikardo’s Company has close contacts with the
Governments of the ‘Iron Curtain countries, and is
in fact the only Western private enterprise company
to have an office in East Berlin. Ian Mikardo Ltd.
will be helping us in our drive to open new markets
in Eastern Europe and Russia where there is a big
potential for the sale of high quality cinematographic
products. With this in view the Export
Department will be moving steadily Eastwards!-
participating in March at the famous Leipzie
Trade Fair in East Germany and in May at ti :,
British Truth. Fair in Moscow.
Mr. R. E. Baker tells of
As most of you at Mitcheldean are
aware. I recently had the opportunity
of visiting the Bell & Howell plant
at Lincolnwood, Chicago.
Following a rather eventful trip to
New York and missing my connection
to Chicago. I eventually arrived at the
O’Hare Air Field approximately eight
hours late; but although it was then 2.45
in the morning. I found one of our
friends, Art Thompson. still waiting to
greet me. Despite the hour. he insisted
that I should receive some refreshment.
thereupon taking me to the right place
for the right type of refreshment, and I
finally arrived at my hotel about 4
o’clock in the morning!
The reception I was given on my
arrival at the plant is something which
has to be experienced to be believed.
Everyone I was introduced to, whether
known or unknown to myself. was
delighted to see me. and everything was
done to ensure that my visit was both
enjoyable and informative. One could
not wish for better co-operation.
In addition to Art Thompson, I met
quite a number of our old friends,
namely Ted Carlsen, Harold Petersen
and Ed Artwick. I mention them in
particular because they were over here
for fairly long periods. They all wished
to be kindly remembered to everyone at
The schedule that was arranged for
me was an interesting if somo% hat heavy
one. I was able to spend appro imately
fourteen working days in the various
Production Departments, also the Engineering,
Planning and Processing De-
partments and Production Control.
This I found most informative; the space
here is far too limited to go into any
great detail, but my general impressions
were that everyone from top level to the
most junior position was terribly keen
and very conscientious, so far as the
Bell & Howell products were concerned.
The tempo of life in the States, which
is reflected in their work, is rather hectic,
but at the same time I can assure you
have really gcq the interests of
the Company at heart; I feel sure this
one of the main reasons for the success
of the Bell & Howell Organisation, and
it does to a great extent account for their
high standard of living.
On my return trip I visited the Bell &
Howell plant at Phillipsburg where they
manufacture envelope packing and sealing
machinery. A very small plant compared
with Lincolnwood. it nevertheless
appeared to be most efficient, and here
again one experienced that feeling of
pride in the job.
This plant is being managed by someone
very well known to most of us at
Mitcheldean-Ed Roble. He, too,
wished me to pass on to you his best
Stage and T.V. actor John Slater (left) was
in the Bell & Howell shop, Hanover Square.
London, for only time minutes but he got
booked by a parking meter attendant! Here
he is discussing a Sportster IV with Rank
Precision Industries London manager Ernie
Maynard and (jar right) Reg Dixon.
(P.R. Office photograph.)
Lucky Len-Co-operation has always
been a marked feature of the relationship
between the Booking Department
and Film Hire Stores, so the engagement
of Len Cokayne (Film Hire Stores) to
Miss Anne Wilson (Booking) was no
surprise. Len. still in the party mood,
celebrated his 21st birthday twelve days
New Release-October 3 was a great
day for the Movie-pak Department. A
new release, weighing 71 lb., fluttered
from the heavens to Ron and Mrs.
Edmonds. Who says there is no 8 mm.
sound ? Ask Ron-he hasn’t slept since.
Six Years After – A departure is
always a sad event, particularly when
the person concerned has been at Perivale
some time. Molly Rudge, secretary
to Mr. E. J. Lee, will be greatly missed.
Six years have passed since Molly first
explored the corridors of Perivale and
she now feels it’s time for a change. We
wish her every success in the future.
More Darts Results – The Dartnell
Cup this year was won by Despatch,
with Maintenance close runners-up.
This trophy was presented to the winning
team at the Annual Dinner and
Dance on December 2. Miss Wendy
Patterson (Dictorel) and Mr. Ron
Edmonds (Home Sales) won the final of
the mixed doubles. with Mr. George
Poulter (Goods Inwards) and Mrs.
Tilbury (Exam) as runners-up. (A correction
to one result in the last issue of
Leslie Francis. Home Sales Manager ( second from
right). at the London Movie-pak dealer Trade Show.
one of several held to launch new releases.
VISION: Mrs. Rita Flynn (Canteen) was
runner-up in the Ladies Singles, not
Miss Pat Flynn. Apologies, Rita!)
Ten-Year Test-Crisis at the Library!
It’s Mr. Marples’ ten-year test. Never
before have so many cars changed hands.
They’re all in first-class condition with
wonderful brakes and unrivalled steering-
ask the owners, they will tell you.
‘Yes’, a colleague was heard to say, ‘and
it’s only fifty pounds, including all the
parts you see lying around’.
Are the brakes trustworthy?,’ my
friend enquired.
‘Trustworthy? Watch this!’
Poor chap. He will be greatly missed.
Long Service Luncheon -On October
4 representatives of the Perivale
and Bell and Howell Long Service
Association met for one of their luncheons.
Mr. A. R. Hodge, General
Manager. presided.
There and Back – The purpose of
this column is to report arrivals and
departures. We can include both in
commenting on the recent visit to the
States made by Mr. Hodge who left on
October 6 and returned on October 31.
A very tight schedule kept him fully
occupied almost from dawn to dusk.
and a hoped-for relaxation on the return
journey by sea was, we gather, to some
extent marred by a distinctly stormy
Congratulations-are the order of the
day for Jim Holmes. New Stock Stores.
who shared a Pools win of £1.750 for a
Id. line!
Lament of a Correspondent –
Who’d be a correspondent. particularl
of visioN! Every month having to find
fresh news items and articles of general
interest. Who’s had a baby ? Is anyone
dead ? What’s happening in Exam ?
Are the flowers in bloom in front of the
Library ? All these are questions the
good correspondent must know.
How does a reader find his or her
local correspondent ? The answer is
simple. Just look for a tired, harassed
bundle of nerves, creeping from department
to department, armed with reams
of paper, in the endless quest for news.
Who’d be a correspondent!
The big question now at Mitcheldean
is: Who is the ‘Perivale Piece’ ?
The Special ‘ in
Small Batch
Jun- inside Small Batch office you will
see a 5 ft. 11 in. policeman. It’s quite
all right-he works there. Sam Newman
has been a ‘Special’ for twenty-three years
and he holds a long service medal and
bar to prove it. He also belongs to the
Mitcheldean Long Service Association
-but let’s begin at the beginning.
Sam came to us by way of mines and
maltings. He began his working life
with eighteen months at the iron ore
mine at Bailey Level, followed by an
equal period spent coal mining. Having
decided neither were for him, he joined
the then existing brewery in Mitcheldean.
He worked in the maltings, and in due
course was put in charge there, as his
father and grandfather had been before
Ten Bob Tip
The brewery shut down in 1930 but
the maltings continued and it fell to
Sam to show round the now unused
buildings the many businessmen who
were considering acquiring the premises.
One such enquirer was Mr. T. A. Law
(our Managing Director, then a Director
of British Acoustic Films); Sam remembers
Mr. Law very clearly-he
tipped him 10s. for his trouble!
While Sam continued his work in the
maltings, British Acoustic Films moved
in and, much to the disappointment of
the villagers, no famous film stars were
seen to step from the B.A.F. vans.
This was in the early 1940’s, and Sam
still chuckles about one ‘war incident’
he remembers. The fire-watchers used
to have their bunks in the basement of
one of the old buildings, and one particularly
warm night some of them had
brought their bunks out into the open,
alongside the maltings wall. Gordon
Fisher (Electrical Laboratory) was donning
his pyjamas in what he thought was
complete safety when some practical
joker (Sam is remarkably vague about
who it was) saw him and chucked a
Sam in reminiscent mood.
bucket of malt all over him. For one
horrible moment Gordon thought it was
one of Hitler’s secret weapons!
After running side by side with B.A.F.
for five or six years, the makings closed
down and Sam found employment in
the Machine Shop on progress. The
Supervisor at that time was a certain
Mr. R. E. Baker. During the thirteen
years that he has been with us, Sam has
worked in most of the manufacturing
shops; he is now concerned with progress
and shop loading in Small Batch.
Being a Forester, he knew he couldn’t
do better than marry a Forest girl-
Enid Meek (quote from Sam: ‘She isn’t,
though!’) -and they have six children,
four girls and two boys.
Gardening is one of his many interests
-just mixed gardening, nothing specialised.
And on the walls of his home you
can see evidence of another hobby,
He is also chairman of the Mitcheldean
Cricket Club; Mr. Baker is captain
of the team so, Sam says, ‘That’s one
time when I can call our Works Manager
to order!’
Rank’s at the Royal Albert Hall
DIVISION II were represented. A ith other
sections of the Rank group, at the
Second Industrial Photographic and
Television Exhibition at the Royal
Albert Hall in November. It was here
that the first public display of the Xenon
lamp for the Model 609 16 mm. projector
took place. The ‘family’ stands included
equipment from Rank-Cintel, Rank-
XeroX, and the Taylor-Hobson and
Gaumont-Kalee Divisions of Rank
Precision Industries.
THERE was a good response when the
call for blood donors came to Mitcheldean.
There were 156 volunteers altogether,
who between them gave 150 pints
of blood. Quite a number of them have
been awarded the medals that go to the
donors of 10 pints of blood or more;
among them Sister Townroe, in charge
of Mitcheldean’s First Aid. It’s only a
rumour that she gave the lot in one go!
A SYNDICATE of 12 financial wizards has
been discovered in the Hollerith Department
at Mitcheldean. As a result of a
bold speculation, with each member of
the said syndicate investing to the tune
of 6d. in a 6s. permutation, a capital gain
of some £307 was achieved. We understand
that the master brain behind the
business was that of Mrs. Mary Evans
(she filled in the coupon). Just the sort
of automatic accounting we admire!
WHEN apprentice John Birch rushed to
his car one lunchtime to collect his lunch.
he found a monster mouse devouring
his last sandwich. He is firmly of the
opinion that the animal was planted
there on purpose, so look out for reprisals!
The incident has at least solved
one problem-John says he now knows
where that ‘squeak’ was coming from.
MITCHELDEAN employees seeking to improve
themselves by attending evening
classes at Cinderford Technical College
may see some familiar faces among the
staff there. They belong to ‘after-\% ork
teachers’ Mr. S. C. Wheeler (Electrical
Laboratory)-mathematics; Mr. T. D.
Sherry (Planning Department)-science
and calcs.; and Messrs. F. Edwards
(Training Supervisor) and R. Watkins
(Tool Design)-workshop technology.
IF anyone had been watching Mr. S. A.
Cherry (XeroX Department) working
in his home studio, they might have
thought he was suffering from a rather
terrifying affliction as he constantly bent
his arm to look at his fingers over his
shoulder! In actual fact he was working
on the beautiful carving of his own hand
pictured here.
Mr. Cherry, who joined the Company
in November, has been doing wood
sculpture ever since he could whittle.
He doesn’t work from a model but
carves straight away in walnut, teak,
perry pear and other delightful woods.
He told VISION that he was planning
to start work on a full-size crucifixion
in witch elm-he can’t get a piece of
English oak large enough.
A NEW disease seems to have hit the staff
car park at Mitcheldean – namely
4131otchitis’. Eddie Shermer has one
variation of it, called `Smear Blotchitis’,
while boss Doug Ashall has ‘Spot
Blotchitis’. Doug Sherry has also been
infected, but his particular affliction,
‘Grey Blotchitis’, has taken a turn for
the worse.
With ‘Mrs. Fangio’ running a
Dodg’em show each morning, and
Messrs. Watkins, Thomas (Rustitus to
friends) and others suffering from
‘Bashitis’, the atmosphere at 5.10 p.m.
is an insurance company’s nightmare.
What with the bottled-up parking as
well, one is forced to take one’s lunch in
the canteen as exit and entry is almost
impossible from 9 a.m. to 5.10 p.m.
One novelty, however, is the exit via
the ploughed field at the back of the
premises-through the Security Officer’s
lawn via the gasworks (filling up at the
works garage), and out through Watery
Brook Street into the ‘inner circle’ of
Mitcheldean. Time Study officials seem
to do this quite often!
N.B. There is no truth in the rumour
that the Company intend to install parking
EVER since Production Control Department
arranged an outing to see ‘South
Pat: tic’ at Worcester in November. we
have been hearing a lot of cock-eyed
optimists and wonderful guys, not to
mention someone’s decision to ‘wash
that man right outa my hair’.
DENNIS Williams (Stores) has been very
much up in the clouds recently. We
don’t mean to infer that he is a dreamy
type-it’s just that, as a corporal in the
A.T.C., he went on a gliding course, for
which the Company granted him leave
of absence.
All About Secretaries . .
A SECRETARY is. of course. a girl who
hasn’t the ability to do an executive job.
All she has to do is to answer the telephone,
take down letters in shorthand,
and type them out neatly for her boss.
All-that is, excepting:
To Know: Which personal letters are
not personal at all, what is in them if
they are, and whether to remind him
about an appointment she is not supposed
to have seen. How to make someone
whose appointment he has broken
feel it is their fault, not his. And, when
he fixes an appointment a long way
ahead, to remember to remind him that
he doesn’t want to keep it.
To Look: Nice enough to be easy on
his eyes, but not snazzy enough to disturb
his wife; pleasant enough to be able
MR. HORACE BECKER, Of the Haloid-
XeroX Company of Rochester, New
York, paid us a visit recently to help us
with production problems on the 914
machine which we are making here.
Apart from his undoubted abilities as
an engineer, he is a very engaging per-
‘, sonality. and it was P.M.G.’s fortune
(or misfortune!) to entertain him in
Cheltenham during his fortnight’s stay.
A little of his personal history was
gleaned during his visit. He started life
as a bare-footed boy (unlike most of us
who were born with boots on) in
Brooklyn, New York, but now lives in
a most salubrious district of Rochester
-which is rather like moving up from
Hammersmith to Harrogate.
P.M.G. was able to show him quite
a number of features of English life such
to keep people away from his office, but
not so pleasant that she brings them in.
To Realise: How often she can ask
him to repeat a phrase she did not hear
and whether, if she heard it right, she
ought to alter it to good grammar. or
whether to cut out the ceremony and
write the letter herself.
To Manage: To fill in the forms he
can’t understand, remember his wife’s
birthday, keep his expense sheets, know
in which pocket he has filed a vital
letter, fix his travelling arrangements,
check every figure and date in all letters.
. . . and generally to see that his genius
is not stifled by any executive work.
(Feelingly contributed by `those who
know’ in Audio Visual Department,
Mortimer House!)
. . . All About Horace
as rain, ox-roasting at Tewkesbury. rain,
olde-worlde pubs, rain and cherchez-lafemme,
but he admitted that he liked the
rain best as it reminded him of home.
He expressed surprise that most
English people that he met lived in
houses and went about their daily lives
just like Americans; and when he returned
to the U.S.A. no doubt he helped
to dispel the widely held belief over there
that we either live in caves or go to bed
in hunting pink.
It might be recorded that on P.M.G.’s
first visit to Rochester, Mr. Becker.
among others, was advised to wearlhis
jacket, watch his language, and generally
be on his best behaviour in case the
visiting Englishman might be given the
wrong impression !-Paul M. Gregory,
Chief Project Engineer.
with the effect of parties past,
and the prospect of parties to come,
Division II is certainly in festive spirit.
The G.B. Film Library Sports and
Social Club started the ‘ball’ rolling
with their Annual Dinner and Dance
on December 2 at the Greenwood
Hotel, Grcenford, Middlesex. The pictures
on these pages are evidence of its
Some 230 members and guests sat
down to dinner, among them Mr. T. A.
Law, Mr. and Mrs. H. R. A. de Jonge,
Mr. and Mrs. F. Wickstead, Mr. F.
Jessup. Mr. J. Duffel!, Mr. and Mrs.
G. Perutz, Mr. and Mrs. R. King, and
many more-far too many to mention
individually-from Mitcheldean and
Mortimer House.
Also there were celebrities Mr. Jack
Parnell, the well-known T.V. and radio
Mr. R. Patterson was one guest who appreciated
a good cigar-and a good garter! This one belongs
to Miss Jeanette Cheeseman (Dictorel). Enjoying
the fun with them is Miss Wendy Patterson
band leader, with Mrs. Parnell; Mr. W.
Landauer, one half of the famous
Rawitz and Landauer piano duettist
partnership. with Mrs. Landauer; and
Mr. Richard Baker, B.B.C. Newscaster,
who is often at the Library for sound
Mr. Leslie Francis, Chairman of the
Club, gave details of club activities over
the past year, and paid tribute to the
support he had received from both the
Management and his Club Committee.
Replying to the toast of the guests,
of the Library was, he thought, well
emphasised by the fact that the Library’s
Long Service Association had 30
members, no small achievement for a
staff with a total strength of about 200.
A long list of lucky number programme
holders received their prizes
from Mrs. Jack Parnell. while her
husband presented the various darts
The dinner over, the floor was cleared
for dancing, which went on till 1 a.m.
There were dances to please everyone,
spot prizes, showers of balloons-and
through the haze of streamers we recall
seeing Jack Parnell taking a turn with
the drums.
Raffle prize winners included Mr.
Reg Hoodless, who won the first prize
-a handsome picnic set; Mrs. (Barry)
Clifton; and Mrs. Fleming. The proceeds
of the raffle were donated to the
Queen Mary Hospital for Sick Children,
As Christmas came nearer, the pace
Mrs. Watts (Exam Room) with ‘Cynthia’ (a piggy
bank whose contents will help pay for a film to be
taken of the Library summer outing).
mounted at Mitcheldean. Departmental
‘do’s’ occurred almost daily-Service
Department at Bradley Court on
December 14; Home and Export Sales
at Bradley Court on December 15;
Machine Shop and Auto/Press Shop
together at the Rockhampton Hotel.
Ross-on-Wye, on December 16, and,
the-same day, the Assembly party at the
Chase Hotel, Ross-on-Wye, while Small
Batch and XeroX made merry together
on December 22 at the Chase Hotel.
On January 17 the Mitcheldean Long
Service Association %% ill hold their
Annual Social in the Clubhouse.
If they manage to survive the onset
of the New Year, a number of lucky
Sports and Social Club Committee
members will be taken on January 7 to
see ‘Mother Goose’ at the Regal
Cinema, Gloucester, by some 150 little
girls and boys. This is the party annually
organised by the Mitcheldean Sports
and Social Club for the children of
And that brings us to what is to be the
biggest event in the social calendar at
Mitcheldean. Posters and notes in paypackets
have been reminding us, at
Pictured enjoying the dinner, and the company of
two ladies. is Mr. J. Latreille. the Library’s
Publicity Manager. On the right is Mrs. Latreille;
on the left Mrs. Crow. wife of Mr. G. Crow,
Mitcheldean*s Office Manager. Phyl, as she is
known to most of us. was Cashier at the Library
for some ten years before moving to Gloucestershire.
regular intervals, that the First Annual
Grand Dance and Reunion, sponsored
by Management and the Sports and
Social Club, is to take place at Cheltenham
Town Hall on January 12.
There are to be attractions galoreperhaps
the most outstanding being a
‘Miss R.P.I. 1961’ contest, when the
girls %%ith the ‘mostest’ in poise, personality,
attractiveness, etc., will parade
before the judges-a panel of handpicked
men! The lucky girl will be
presented with a cup and sash and a
money prize.
Then there’s to be a Rock ‘n’ Roll
Competition. Olde Tyme dancing with
our own expert Basil Walker and his
partner taking part. novelty dances.
spot prizes-in fact. everything you
expect of a gay evening.
Mrs. Jack Parnell presents the first prize in the
raffle -a fitted picnic case-to Mr. Reg Hoodless
(Film Hire).
Jack Latreille, the G.B. Film Library’s
Publicity Manager, concludes
Library’s move to Woodchester
Towers was, to the nucleus of the
staff who made it. something of an
adventure. Certainly the prospect of
working in the country, after the combination
of air raid disruption and the
difficulties of working at Shepherd’s
Bush, was welcomed. But the first flush
of enthusiasm was dampened, or more
appropriately frozen, by a misadventure
on arrival. Owing to the icy conditions
of the winter of 1940, the coach carrying
the party failed to make the hill to
Woodchester, and they were forced to
complete the journey on foot, carrying
their cases.
If this misadventure brought with it
any misgivings, however, they were
quickly dispelled on arrival at Woodchester
where Mrs. Gegg. the charming
wife of the Library’s present West of
England representative, soon made
everybody feel at home. Throughout the
war, she continued to
confidante and housekeeper to the
evacuees, and even after the passage of
years. there are many at the Library who
remember with gratitude her many kindnesses
in those often difficult times.
One of the outstanding features of the
Woodchester era was the spirit of
camaraderie which developed, fostered
no doubt by the somewhat unusual
working arrangements. Today at the
This is how Animex N.V., our sole agents in
Holland. said it with flowers’-and with a giant
dummy Autoset (one of the advertising aids we put
at their disposal)-when they took part in the
‘Flowercorso’ held In Rotterdam on August 20 last.
The Flowercorso was reported to have been seen by
some 200.000 people.
Library it is our proud boast that in our
day-to-day activities there is a pervading
atmosphere of ‘togetherness’, to use a
word popular a year or so ago. It could
well be that Woodchester helped to bring
this about.
Local labour was gradually recruited
to bring the Library staff up to a working
strength, and Woodchester Towers became
a hive of industry. Of work there
was plenty, for the Library continued to
expand and develop and despite wartime
restrictions some 10,000 reels of film
were despatched weekly. More entertainment
films became available, and the
use of 16 mm. film, both for recreation
and instruction, became an established
fact, with the Forces, equipped with
the famous and never-to-be-forgotten
GBL 516. taking an active lead.
War-and Peace
Much could be written about the six
years the Library spent at Woodchester.
It was a period during which the unusual
gradually became the commonplace, and
anecdotes in plenty could be related
about the transition. But we must move
on, for it is but one stage in the development
of the Library as we know it today.
With the end of the war, the 16 mm.
film industry had, like many other businesses,
to readjust itself to peacetime
activity. Fostered by the demands of the
emergency, its growth had been phenomenal.
It had gone into the war in 1939
as something of a luxury-it emerged in
1945 almost a necessity. And the Library
found the requirements of peacetime
operations as demanding as any they
had experienced during wartime.
A return to London became imperative,
but it was some time before the
right sort of accommodation could be
found. Eventually, premises at Perivale
were taken over and, in early 1947, the
Library returned to civilisation.
Although at first the Aintree Road
building was shared with British Acoustic
Films, the continued expansion of the
Library’s activities necessitated more and
more room ,and eventually the complete
premises were taken over. In 1948 the
Library started its Filmstrip Department
ith a few filmstrips, amongst them
‘Latitude and Longitude’, adapted from
the G.B. Instructional Film which was
then. and still is, one of the best film
treatments of the subject. A six-page
folder was all that was needed for the
first list of filmstrips. Now, a 76-page
catalogue is printed each year. 1948 also
saw the launching of the popular 8 mm.
and 16 mm. Movie-paks.
New agreements with the large distributors
brought many important films
from this country and America to 16 mm.
In the educational field the Film Library
was appointed U.K. distributor for the
distinguished product of Encyclopaedia
Britannica Films Inc.
But perhaps the most significant
development of the more recent years
was the introduction of 16 mm. Industrial
Training Films and the establishment
at Perivale of a Technical Services
Department. Now Industry, as well as
Education and the many and diverse
users of 16 mm. Entertainment films,
could come to the Library for their film
needs and the circle was, in effect. complete.
Whatever was needed in the realm
of 16 mm. films the Library could
supply, or at the very least, advise on.
And there, as 1960 comes to its end,
the Library stands today. Its past is a
story of steady development and constant
expansion. Its future, closely
bound up with all that is new in the
realm of visual aids, is an exciting prospect.
Author’s Note: The compilation of this
story would not have been possible without
the help and reminiscences of a great
many people, far too many to acknowledge
individually in this short note. A lot which
was told me has had to be left unsaid for
want of space, but I am nevertheless
grateful for it as it has helped to build up
a picture which, when I set out to write this
series, I did not know existed. Finding
out has been a fascinating experience.
FOLLOWING our item in the last issue of
VISION, we have another achievement in
the shipping world to report-a complete
16 mm. installation in the firstand
tourist-class cinemas of the P. & 0.
passenger ship Canberra now being built
in Belfast.
Mr. John Lurcook (right). bin, allot; Department.
Mortimer House. in a still from the film’s opening
sequence-on high speed photography and its
MITCHELDEAN. G.B. Film Library, Hanover
Square and Mortimer House staff
form most of the cast in a new promotional
film -‘Putting Things in Motion’.
This 15- minute film has been produced
for Divison II to show those industrialists
who are not already aware of the fact
the many potential uses of film in their
own organisations.
The film is shot in various departments
within the Division, thus illustrating
the point that industrialists, in certain
circumstances, can use their internal
personnel within a film’s framework.
The possible uses for films in salesman
training, welfare, apprentice training,
staff recruitment, work study, research,
product demonstration and other fields
are clearly shown, with special emphasis
on export selling, while a section is
devoted to the facilities offered by the
Perivale Film Library.
Staff at Mitcheldean who were recently
given a chance of seeing themselves
in the finished film were particularly
intrigued by the remarkable way in
which colour is gradually faded into the
black and white pictures to emphasise
how much more effective a film is in
colour. The method by which this was
done is apparently a closely guarded
secret of Peter Hadingham (Swift Film
Productions). who not only wrote the
script but also was responsible for the
photography and the commentary. He
was incidentally once an employee of
the Rank Organisation and was personal
assistant to Mr. A..1. Pincombe.
Mr. G. E. A. Perutz, Marketing
Manager, and Mr. T. E. Durlacher.
Industrial Sales Manager, were among
those who originally sponsored the idea
of making this first-rate film.
Works Superintendent
Fred Court tells the story of
how the factory coped with
O, the night of Tuesday. October 25.
two oil tankers collided with the
Sharpness-Lydney railway bridge over
the River Severn and exploded, setting
the river on fire for practically the whole
of its half-mile width, and causing the
death of five local men and the collapse
of two spans of the bridge.
Attached to the bridge was a main
gas pipe supplying the Forest of Dean
area; this was broken and the gas supply
to the Mitcheldean factory, among
others, immediately ceased. With the
Plating, Painting and Heat Treatment
Departments and the Canteen all dependent
on gas supplies, we were set
quite a poser. The Canteen was tackled
first and, thanks to a grand effort by
the electrical, plumbing and maintenance
staffs, a hot midday meal was available
on the first gas-less day.
Quick Thinking
Official estimates of how long the repair,
or an alternative supply of gas, was
likely to be ranged from three days to
three weeks, so some quick thinking was
called for. Hardest hit was the Paint
Shop, for most of their work has to be
passed through stoving ovens. Frank
Bick of the Polishing Shop suggested the
use of bottled gas; and while Pete
Kingzett, the gas and water fitter, was
travelling to the Calor Gas Research
Laboratories in Surrey, arrangements
were made for the provision of adequate
supplies of bottled gas from Gloucester.
Pete arrived at Addlestonc, Surrey, at
10 p.m. and within an hour was speeding
back to Mitcheldean with burners,
valves and jets. He worked through the
night and as a result our large rotary
oven was in action by midday Thursday,
less than 30 hours after notification of
the disaster.
Meanwhile the electricians had been
modifying our stress relieving furnace
in Heat Treatment to use as a paint
oven, and some work was stoved in it.
They also re-disposed electric immersion
heaters in the Plating Shop and kept up
a steady attendance in the Canteen to
keep the tea trolley service going.
Tentative arrangements made for the
sub-contracting of plating work were
never called upon, primarily because
the Design Engineers co-operated to the
full in agreeing alternative finishes, etc.
Meanwhile Heat Treatment Department
had not been idle. Alternative
methods of heating furnaces to 800 –
900 °C were considered and enquiries
made, with the result that by the Monday
a furnace was modified to oil firing;
Mr. Clayton, of Thermoil Heating Co.
Ltd. of Stroud (in conjunction with our
maintenance men) worked untiringly
until the installation was complete and
functioning correctly. Further cooperation
was forthcoming from Horace
Evans, who after a brief rest at home
returned to operate on night shift, thus
helping to regain lost hours and also
avoid any loss of temperature over the
night period.
During this time the sub-contracting
of essential jobs was in progress. thanks
to the efforts of Messrs. Nicholls, Giles
and Saunders.
While we were busy helping ourselves,
we were also able to help a neighbour-
Messrs. Meredith & Drew. the biscuit
manufacturers; as a result of excellent
work by those concerned with the Auto
Section, some 650 adaptors were made
for the gas jets of the company’s automatic
ovens so that Calor gas could be
With Calor gas replacing the normal gas supply,
Phil Davies. Chargehand in the Plating Shop,
continues the nickel-plating of Xerox parts.
from Mr. C. R. Steward
Our new Personnel Officer.
FIRST let me thank you all for your cooperation
and forbearance whilst I have
been endeavouring to adapt myself to my
new appointment.
This type of work is not altogether new
to me as practically the whole of my working
life has been allied to the engineering
industry on personnel problems.
I visualise a busy programme ahead
with particular emphasis on the recruitment
of skilled operatives so urgently
needed fir the new Xero X project.
ifs have all uo ,I,obt seen in the
Mrs. S. Lightman.
local Press recently, we are doing our
utmost to attract this labour through the
medium of advertising. You. too, can
help to this end, however. by mentioning
our need to any friends or acquaintances
whom you think may have the necessary
jr our vacancies (and who are interested
in securing steady employment),
and suggesting they write or call on us.
Lastly, I feel a word of thanks is due
to my assistant, Mrs. Lightman, for so
ably ‘holding the fort’ in the weeks prior
10 my appointment. ern, t c 9.00xs,
Putting YOU in the Picture
Today is the official date for goodbyes
to Mr. J. W. Disney. our Plant Engineer,
who is leaving us after some 14 years’
service for a new post as works manager
in a London engineering company.
We have also had to say goodbye to
another ‘veteran’-Mr. A. C. Cornwell
(Export Sales). who has been with the
Company for nearly 13 years. Mr. Cornwell
has taken up an appointment with
a Continental company.
Having got the Post Office at Kilcot
running smoothly-and having left his
wife in charge-Mr. Jeremy O’Keeffe
has joined the Works Study Department.
We feel sure he must have some valuable
experience to place at their disposal!
When Albert Matthews left to take up
another position recently. after being in
Production Control for 14 years. he was
presented with a %%atch and a combined
cigarette case and lighter by colleagues.
Mr. Ray Watts (Publicity) left the
Company on November 30.
Service Repair now have two ‘Mine
Hosts’ among their staff-Mr. W. Jones
(Landlord of the Lamb Inn, Ross-on-
Wye) and Mr. I. Worsfold (Landlord of
the Spread Eagle at Walford). We are
assured that they were not engaged
solely to keep the lads in good spirits!
Another newcomer to this Department
is Mr. J. Parry, who is training as a
service mechanic. Mr. Roger Dowle left
early in November after being with us
three years.
Colin Pincombe, son of our Mr. A. J.
Pincombe, joined us at the beginning of
October under the learnership scheme.
Mr. 1. Limbrick has joined Purchase
Department: he replaces Mr. Clive
Mrs. Olive Trafford has transferred from
33 Stores to Kitting Area, where she
has assumed the duties of supervisor.
Two much-travelled people have recently
joined Quality Control Inspection
(XeroX): they are C. J. Mayo, from the
ground staff, St. Christopher School,
who has travelled extensively all over
Europe under his own steam: and Mr.
N. E. Griffiths who, during his six and
a half years with the Merchant Navy,
saw a great deal of the more distant parts
of the world. Another new member of
Quality Control staff is Mr. F. Millet.
Mr. R. Pryor (Sales Promotion Representative)
has left the Company today,
December 30.
We wish a long and happy retirement to
Mr. P. Cooper (Machine Shop) after 17
years with the Company; we also extend
a welcome to three brothers who have
all joined Machine Shop within a few
weeks of one another-Messrs. Courtney,
Leslie and Reginald Matthews.
Another newcomer is Miss Fay Adams
in Machine Shop office.
Miss M. Paddock has transferred to
Production Engineering to take the
place of Miss June Holder who has left.
Miss Paddock’s position
office has been filled by Miss M. King.
Planning Department welcome back
Mr. J. Dixon after nine weeks’ sick
Mr. D. R. Wedley has rejoined the
Company to work in his former Department
– Accounts – as a statistician.
Miss Jean Morgan started work in
Accounts in November ; she is the fifth
member of her family to join us.
Newcomers to the Hollerith Department
are Mrs. Jean Marshall, Miss Valerie
Wright, and Mr. R. B. Wrigglesworth.
Formerly a butcher, Mr. Albert Hatch
is trying a completely new job as sprayer
in the Paint Shop.
Mrs. Hilary Freeman. who has been
with Quality Control for the past ten
years, has left to await ‘a happy event’.
The stork has also been paying a lot of
attention to the Accounts Department
recently! Three members of the staff
have left for the self-same reason: Mrs.
Rosemary Powell, Mrs. Janet Eales and
Mrs. Sheila Dubberley. Mrs. Eales will
be returning to the Company.
ti’hen Miss Peggy Townsend
counts I was married on
0, :ober 29 at St. Frances
Church. Ross-on-Wye.
Accounts supplied two of her
attendants – Mrs. Maureen
Peeves ( Matron of Honour,
and (far right) Miss Rena
Engaged and Married
Miss Janet Worsell (Accounts) became
engaged to Mr. Alec Baldwin on November
Miss Gloria Rogers (Purchase Department)
became engaged on December 10
to Mr. Robert Morse (T.E.D.).
There has been quite an epidemic of
engagements in recent months among
ladies in Assembly-Miss Lois Hyett to
Mr. Stan Waltham (formerly in Home
Sales); Miss Barbara Turley (office) to
Mr. J. Walding; and Miss Margaret
Stephens to Mr. Clifford Bent.
Mr. M. Pask recovered from appendicitis
just in time for his wedding to
Miss D. Vaughan at Ross on August 6;
they both work in Assembly.
Miss Shirley Warren (Quality Control)
became the wife of Mr. P. Beard at St.
Peter’s, Cliffords Mesne, on September
New Arrivals
Karen Jane, a 7 lb. 6 oz. daughter for
Mr. P. Prawl (fork lift driver, Warehouse),
born on October 7.
Adrian Keith, a son born to Mrs. Eileen
Bird (formerly in Purchase Department)
and her husband, Colin (in charge of
the XeroX section). Adrian was born
on October 26, weighing 6 lb. 12 oz.
Mandy, a baby daughter for Mrs. and
Mr. G. Matches (Assembly), who
arrived on November 4.
David Rhys, a third child for Mr. G.
Ashford of Works Study. David, weighing
6 lb. 11 oz., arrived on November 15.
Mr. Miles Brookes I Machine Shop) with his bride,
Sheila, after their wedding at Lydbrook Parish
Church on October 22. R. EVANS
7..? –
Mar we introduce
Mr. M. L.
Down from Rank
XeroX – hr has
been at Mitcheldean
quite often
during recent
months to liaise
between his
Company and
the XeroX Dept.
Mr. Walter Rubel has joined the Cine &
Photographic Division as Overseas Sales
Executive. This is a senior appointment
in our Overseas Sales Organisation and
Mr. Rubel, who is responsible to Mr.
Perutz, is based at Mortimer House.
During November two film shows of
sales training films, and demonstrations
of 16 mm. equipment, were given by the
Audio Visual Department and the G.B.
Film Library, under the general direction
of Mr. T. E. Durlacher (Industrial Sales
Manager) to London members of the
Incorporated Sales Managers’ Association.
More than 400 people attended
each evening.
Further 16 mm. promotional work is
being carried out by the holding of Audio
Visual Dealer Assistant Training Courses
at Mortimer House. Up to and including
November, six of these threeday
courses had been held with great
success. Mr. Gerry Gask, Audio Visual
Dealer Manager, is in charge, and
demonstrations and lectures in the use
of Bell & Howell 16 mm. equipment
have been given by, among others,
Messrs. Jim Hissey (G.B. Film Library),
Dave Tubb, Bill Ball, Bill Crisp, Robert
Webb, Jack Duffel!, Mike Charles
(Gaumont-Kalee Division), Les Wilson
(London Service Depot) and Peter
O’Connor (Hanover Square). These
courses are proving very popular with
dealers’ assistants; some shop managers
have felt it worth while to come along.
During October members of the Audio
Visual Department went to Belfast to
give a demonstration of the value of
film in industry to Northern Ireland
industrialists. Messrs. Gask, Durlacher
and Crisp were among those present.
.1 Grand Cilfr Competition. open to all Sports
and Social Club members. is being announced
by the Cine Club Committee. First prize is a
clan camera. Watch your notice boards for
Amp. Line Assembly,
Dear Editor,
AFTER a severe illness I was sent to
‘Glehelands’ Convalescence Home by the
Firm to assist me in my recovery.
I have only the greatest praise for the
way I was looked after by the manager
and staff of the home. It is a beautiful
place, and takes a lot of money to keep
up. It therefore requires plenty of contributions.
May I hope that my few words here
will assist them in this matter.
Yours sincerely.
R. l’a ne
Lady’s Raleigh Bicycle for sale. Red
chrome. Semi-drop handlebars. In
perfect condition. £10 or near offer.
Telephone Byron (Middlesex) 2114.
Boxing Gloves.-Set of four complete
with head protection helmet. Cheap at
£3. Apply Mr. H. Andrews, Dept. 71.
Brand New Caravan-for sale. 1960
Normandie Wentworth 28 ft. caravan.
six – berth, bathroom, large kitchen.
lounge suite (studio couch, two matching
chairs), H. & C. water, open fire. Large
end bedroom (two single or one double).
freestanding Calor gas cooker. Calor
gas and electric lighting. Reason for
sale-owner has now purchased bungalow.
Apply Miss 0. Morris (Assembly).
Bridesmaid’s Dress.-Full length, bust
36. waist 26. Pink nylon lace over net.
Head wreath and gloves to match. £6
o.n.o. Box No. 7..
Book Now for your holidays. Fourberth
22 ft. living caravan on good site
at Burnham-on-Sea. eight minutes from
sea front. Apply Box No. 8.
For Sale.-1937 Austin Seven Tourer.
Three as-new tyres, new battery 6V.
Perfect for conversion to Sports Special.
Details from A. C. Leech, Auto Inspection.
`Fleetway’ Fold-away Table Wringer,
almost new, £4. Apply Box No. 9.
Gauntlet Gloves, real hide, lined nylon
fur, adjustable to wrist. Cost about £3.
Offers to Mr. Clive Brooks, Quality
Printed by The Victor lames Press Limited, Couisdon. Surrey
The G.B. Film Library
of Perivale, Middlesex
Ronk Precision Industries Ltd.
offices at 37×41 Mortimer Street.
London, W.1
The Bell & Howell shop
in Hanover Square, London
The main building of
Rank Precision Industries LW.
at Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire

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