Return to 1965-1969

Vision 050

July/August 68 No 50 tie& House Magazine of Rank Xerox Mitcheldean Plant
A fantastic machine …
A Ham b I. n
that’s what Mr. Charles Loughlin, Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Social Security and
MP for West Gloucestershire. called our 3600 copierlduplicator at its launching ceremony last month.
And the look on his face as Mr. Wickstead explains a point to him during their tour of the 3600
Department shows just how interesting he found it all With them are Mrs. Wickstead and Mrs. Loughlin
and, far right, Mr. Preece of Preece Payne Partnership, the Plant architects. What were they looking at ?
One of the many stages on the 3600’s journey down the assembly line – such as that pictured on page 3.
Our forward plan presents a challenging future. It
is ambitious, and proposes over the next five years
an exciting variety of new machines. It is also a
hungry plan – hungry for space.
The forward plan demands about 50 per cent more
space than we currently have at Mitcheldean. How
to get it ? That is the problem which has confronted
me and my colleagues over the past year. Unless
we could solve this problem, our forward plan and
continued expansion would be in jeopardy.
I am happy to tell you that we have succeeded. I
could not tell you before now because the
necessary approval (in the form of an Industrial
Development Certificate) for the erection of a new
building on the Mitcheldean site, and inevitable
legal negotiations for the acquisition of space
outside Mitcheldean, were only recently finalised.
There were three potential sources of supply :
Mitcheldean, Welwyn Garden City, and any
available suitable space outside Mitcheldean. After
protracted negotiations, we now have firm plans to
meet our forward space requirements over the
next five years as follows:
1 120,000 sq. ft. locally at the Gloucester Trading
2 100,000 sq. ft. hitherto occupied by Rank-
Bush Murphy at Welwyn Garden City ;
3 A new building of 212,000 sq. ft. to be erected
on the one remaining undeveloped site at
The International Warehouse and Sorter Assembly
have been sited at the Gloucester Trading Estate.
The 100,000 additional square feet at Welwyn will
be used for the expansion of consumables
production and the assembly of the Computer
Forms Printer. The new building at Mitcheldean
will be a general-purpose building, and should be
ready for use in 18 months’ time.
Readers of VISION will quite properly be mostly
concerned with how the forward plan affects them,
particularly the removal of the International
Warehouse and Sorter Assembly to Gloucester, and
the setting up of Design Engineering and Machine
Assembly organisations and facilities at Welwyn.
The Warehouse is already operational in
Gloucester, and the Sorter Assembly should be
transferred there in July/August of this year. Those
of you already employed on this work have been
advised of the terms and conditions of transfer to
The Sorter Assembly plan calls for a small number
of semi-skilled and female assemblers additional to
the current strength. Mitcheldean employees in
this category have therefore been invited to
volunteer to work in Gloucester before we offer
the vacancies to suitable people in Gloucester.
The setting up of Design Engineering and
Production organisations and facilities at Welwyn
is a much more complicated exercise and must be
carefully planned. For the sake of expediency and
efficiency, these organisations at Welwyn will have
a large measure of autonomy under the General
Manager. Welwyn.
However, it is essential that the Design
Engineering and Production output at Welwyn
should not fall below the very high standards
observed by us here at Mitcheldean. The Welwyn
Design Engineering organisation must therefore
operate within the overall Company design policy
laid down by Chief Engineer Mr. A. S. Pratt. The
Production Engineering organisation at Welwyn
will for some time to come be guided by
This plan calls for a fairly rapid increase in the
number of Design Engineering and Production
employees in the immediate future, partly at
Mitcheldean but mostly at Welwyn. Machine
production and Design Engineering are both
completely new undertakings for Welwyn.
It will also be necessary for Welwyn to be
supported temporarily by skilled Design
Engineering and Production men from Mitcheldean,
during the initial stages of machine production at
All this will mean a very big re-organisation of our
remaining facilities at Mitcheldean. For example,
the removal of the International Warehouse and
Sorter Assembly to Gloucester means that we can
expand our Machine Shop facilities at Mitcheldean.
(The Stores and Goods Inwards will take over the
space previously used as the Warehouse.)
Reconditioning and Remodelling facilities too will
be expanded to cater for a considerable increase in
It is also our intention
further to
increase our Design
Engineering facilities
to cater for our
long-term needs.
In conclusion, I
would like to point
out that we are at
the end of our
financial year;
1968/69 offers another
challenge to
each of us – let’s
all play our part !
Director of
Production and
Supply Operations
THE 3600
The ‘launch’ of the 3600 copier/duplicator on
June 12 – when for the first time a national press
conference was held at Mitcheldean – can go
down in the records as a marked success.
It attracted representatives from the national and
local press, trade and technical journals and BBC
and Harlech Television, with the result that the
event received considerable press coverage and
was screened on both channels.
The new print-a-second copier/duplicator, linked
to a sorter, behaved impeccably for Mr. Mike
Watson, Manager, Sales Training, who revealed its
capabilities to the visitors at a demonstration held
in the Development Laboratory.
Mr. F. Wickstead welcomed our guests and
introduced Mr. Charles Loughlin, Joint
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Social
Security and MP for West Gloucestershire, and
Mrs. Loughlin, who had kindly come along, and
also Mr. Ron Walker, Director of Marketing
Operations, Rank Xerox Ltd. Following the
demonstration the visitors toured the 3600
production line and then were entertained to lunch
in the Social Centre.
After lunch Mr. Wickstead announced the
Company’s major development programme – the
installation of a second 3600 production line which
is expected to raise production capacity by 80 per
cent. within the next 12 months; the new twostorey
building adjacent to 3600 Assembly on
which work is to start this month and which will
cater for both the manufacture of piece parts and
for assembly work ; and the leasing of further
facilities on the Gloucester Trading Estate.
One of the main reasons for inviting Mr. Loughlin,
said Mr. Wickstead, was to thank him personally
for the work he had done not only for this
Company but for the local community as a whole.
In his turn Mr. Loughlin pointed out that without
Rank Xerox the Forest might well have become a
‘petrified forest’. It had provided some 2500 jobs
and would, it was estimated, soon be providing a
further 250.
Referring to the fact that more than 70 per cent of
our Company’s output is exported, Mr. Loughlin
said : ‘If other industrial units in this country were
exporting to this extent, some of the problems we
face in the external markets of the world would be
Mr. Ron Walker, opening ‘question time’, spoke of
the structure of Rank Xerox and its policies. ‘We
change direction fast.’ he said. ‘This policy to move
with the times is essential because change is
going to come even more.’
Asked whether the Company was going to be able
to maintain its preseht growth rates, Mr. Walker
replied : ‘We have more competition today than we
had even a year ago but the opportunities increase
too. More is written today than ever. Modern
management styles call for more communication.’
He could see no end to this communication drive,
he said, and our Company would be there to
meet it. The addition of the sorter to the 3600 was
only a step to complete automation of the
equipment; the problems of collation and binding
were a ‘natural’ for us to investigate in the near
Asked about the introduction of colour,
Mr. Walker said that its use in the office of today
was a subject of much debate. ‘Its introduction
would not present us with any formidable
problems – the technology is with us – but we
want to be sure that there is a market for it.’
Photo: A. Hamblin
About a week prior to the launch, Mr. C. Peter
McColough, President and Chief Executive, and
Mr. Felix G. Evangelist, Vice-President – Overseas,
of Xerox Corporation of America visited our Plant.
During this, his first visit to Mitcheldean, Mr.
McColough discussed current trends and mutual
problems with members of Management. Here he
is pictured on a tour of the Plant talking to 3600
main line operator Mervyn Davies.
Quality control inspector Harold French makes
complicated mechanical run checks at the end of
the 3600 assembly line.
A look at the
New Supervisor
Don Peates, who has been appointed Supervisor of
the Model Shop, joined the Company on October
1, 1945, as shop boy in the department when it
was known as the Experimental Laboratory. He
became foreman in August 1961. Apart from
service in the RAF and brief spells in Inspection
and Project Engineering, Don has spent all of his
23 years at Mitcheldean serving under Ray Camp.
He met his wife Maureen here (she used to work
in Accounts Dept.) and they have two daughters.
An LSA member for 11 years, Don has worked on
the committee for some time and for the past two
years has acted as hon treasurer; he is also
It’s an interesting point that the Model Shop can
boast a high percentage of long-serving
employees – Derek Bowkett, Eddie Fleming,
John Lin ley, Bob Luffman and Geoff Phipps, apart
from Ray and Don – almost half the total staff, in
Visitors are often shown round our Plant these
days, but in general the Model Shop is not included
in the tour for reasons of security. Here a Very
Imaginary Visitor is escorted by Don Peates round
this department on the lower ground floor of
Building 23 (Administration Block).
V/V: What exactly does the name Model Shop
signify ?
Don: Well, whenever there is a change or
modification of design in any of our products, this
is the place where sample models are made prior
to production.
V/V: What sort of models ?
Don: Our work ranges from the making of simple
components to the building of a complete
prototype model.
it /V: And this can’t be done on the normal
production lines?
Don: No, because special skills are required and
the ‘model makers’ who work here can turn their
hand to any type of instrument or engineering work,
whether optical, mechanical or electrical.
V/V: No one specialises in any particular work,
then ?
Don: We see that the work is spread around so
that everyone has a fair crack at every aspect of
Derek Bowkett machines a casting on the Dufour
universal milling machine.
model making. Before passing on the drawing
instructions I discuss each particular job with the
man who will be concerned with it and decide
upon the best way to tackle the task. Once a man
has been allocated an item to make, he does all
the work on it himself, even though it may involve
operating a variety of machines.
V /V.’ What happens if it is a large assembly
involving a number of parts?
Don: In this case, the parts are shared out among
a number of the men. As each part is finished it
goes into our stores and when all the parts are
completed they are assembled in our Prototype
Build Area.
VIV: Where do they go after that ?
Don: Completed models go back to the
Engineering Department for testing and checking
before production drawings are prepared.
V/V The Engineering Department presumably
issue the drawing instructions?
Don: Yes. The basic designs come from the USA
and our engineering effort at Mitcheldean is
primarily concerned with making changes to the
design to render it suitable for use in Britain and
our other markets. This chiefly involves adapting it
to operate on 50 cycle power supplies instead of
60 as used in the States. The Model Shop is also
called upon to make experimental parts
designed to ensure that the performance of
Mitcheldean-produced machines meets the more
stringent requirements, in many cases, of
Terry Duberley, who is now Model Shop
chargehand, at work on a Jones & Shipman
cylindrical grinder.
D 1211f:15in t
Graham Lockwood (left) and apprentice Keith Hinton Bob Toomer turning an experimental fuser roller.
doing sub-assembly on the CFP prototype model. Photos : A. Hamblin
European and particularly Scandinavian countries.
V/V: Are you working on anything of particular
interest at the moment ?
Don: Much of our work is on the ‘secret list’ and
the security aspect is something we have to keep
Les Harper machines a casting
on a Bridgeport mill.
Photos Hamblin
Warehouse Winners
After a close and interesting game on May 18,
International Warehouse emerged winners in the
final of the Interdepartmental Skittles Competition,
their score of 311 being just enough to beat
Reconditioning’s 307. Team and individual
trophies were kindly presented by Mr. S. D. Keely,
Prcduction Manager. Thanks are also due to
Des Haines and John Mould for organising the
event. The winning skittlers are: (back row)
Harry Pincott, John Notley, John Brown, Mike
Brown; (front row) John Williams, Frank Beard,
Ashley Wildin (capt.), Mervyn Taylor.
Photo : L. Laken
in mind all the time. But I can tell you that one
job we are working on right now is the building of
two CFP (Computer Forms Printer) prototype
machines; these are devices designed to enable
computer print-out to be reproduced and collated
in a smaller and handier size.
At his workbench, Geoff Phipps checks a drawing
prior to machining. Incidentally Geoff made
himself that tool box behind the drawing.
Post hasteners !
Those eleven dark green post-boxes installed at
strategic points throughout the Plant for the
benefit of adjacent departments are reported to be
doing a good job. This new postal clearance
system not only makes the collection of mail more
efficient, but enables the post girls to make more
frequent deliveries. The boxes can be used for
internal or external mail and there are four
collections a day which ensure that the mail is
despatched the same day. Here post girl Gwynneth
Bevan empties the collection box in Building 23
(Administration Block).
Photo : A. Hamblin
Having completed a 13 years’ term of office as
secretary to the LSA, Henry Phillips (Tool
Inspection Supervisor) was appointed chairman at
a special committee meeting on May 27. His
successor as secretary is Miss Doris Barker
(Design Office).
Earlier, at the annual general meeting held on
May 6, Mr. Phillips had reported that the
Mitcheldean association members now numbered
208, 40 of whom have completed 25 or more
years of service with the Company. Retired
members number 31. This year there were 29 new
members: next year there will be approximately 18
people admitted to membership – and the year
after nearly 50 will become eligible to join the
The President and Vice-President were re-elected,
and the committee remain as before, except that
Tommy Knight senior has joined their ranks.
Miss Doris Barker. reporting on the not-so-well
members, tells us that J. Footitt and H. Evans are
improving, while N. Barnett and A. Bevan remain
much about the same.
R. E. Baker, H. Wintle, J. Currie and Mrs. M. Lark
are now back at work after several weeks’ sick
Escorted by Sister Collins. Miss Kate Matthews
and Miss Doris Barker, a party of 53 retired
members and their friends thoroughly enjoyed the
outing organised by the LSA on June 19. They
went by coach to Bourton-on-the-Water. visited
Birdland, then went on to Evesham for tea and a
trip up river.
Security Officer Photo : A. Hamblin
There was an unexpected stop at Cheltenham on
the way out because of a burst tyre – and an
expected stop on the way home at the Teddington
Hands. Crossroads, for refreshments. Cigarettes
and fruit were also handed out on the coach
during the journey.
As the Company kindly provided the transport and
tea, each member was able to take home a
‘bonus’ of 5s. from the funds left over from the
proceeds of the raffle held at the LSA dinner.
George Fricker has the distinction of being our
longest serving employee. On May 9 this year his
years of service added up to 40, and in all that
time he has had only three weeks’ sick leave, apart
from two spells in hospital because of broken
A genuine Cockney, George came to Mitcheldean
from London in 1941 and has been Supervisor of
the Tool Room since 1946. Out of working hours
he is a Nonconformist lay preacher.
Still Fishing
The Angling Club is still going strong, although
the foot-and-mouth epidemic during the last
season somewhat curtailed activities. The newly
started 1968/69 season is to include various trips
to Somerset waters in addition to the usual
competitions, and some inter-club contests if
these can be arranged.
The club is negotiating for a year’s fishing rights
on a stretch of the Wye near Huntsham Bridge,
and the Sports & Social Club have agreed to meet
the cost.
New members can be sure of a welcome, says
secretary Jack Williams (Machine Shop).
Recently appointed Security and Fire Officer at
Mitcheldean, Mr. Ronald H. Robinson is
responsible to Mr. R. Brown, Works Engineer, for
all aspects of security, fire prevention and
gardening activities at our site. He will also
co-ordinate the activities of the Volunteer Works
Fire Brigade which operates under the direction of
Mr. A. Cale (Machine Shop). Mr. Robinson was
for 30 years a member of Gloucestershire
Constabulary, serving throughout the county and
retiring in 1964 with the rank of Inspector.
During the war he was in the Special Investigation
Branch of the Corps of Military Police. Following
his retirement he took up an administrative
appointment at Shire Hall which he left to join our
Company. He lives near Pleasant Stile, Littledean,
and has a married son of 24 and a younger son of
19 who, following in father’s footsteps, has
joined Gloucestershire Constabulary.
When Mitcheldean first became part of Rank
Xerox. there existed an enormous gulf between
this Plant and the new set-up with its headquarters
in London. It was “we” here and “them” there’.
Mr. Nigel G. Foulkes, Managing Director of Rank
Xerox Ltd., speaking as guest of honour at the
15th Annual Dinner of the Mitcheldean Long
Service Association on May 17, took the
opportunity to explain why life has changed so
fast and why Rank Xerox, and Rank Xerox at
Mitcheldean in particular, has moved into a world
in which there is no longer any place for ‘we’ and
He felt, he said, that the members of the LSA at
Mitcheldean-the only Long Service group of
people in the whole of Rank Xerox – were entitled
to hear from Mr. Law’s successor something of
the progress of the Company.
Mr. Foulkes pointed out : ‘A great deal has
happened since we first became associated with
Rank Xerox -a great deal has happened even in
the last 12 months.
‘From 1961-66, which were what I call the years
of the 914 honeymoon, the Company had a
five-years’ lead over the rest of the world.
‘Then we had two products – the 813 and the
914. We only had to build them and sell them and
people couldn’t resist them.
‘Then came the second stage which I think you
can say started in 1967 and is now going on. We
moved into a totally different world, a totally
different business. You cannot strike oil and not
expect other prospectors to sink wells. There are
now dozens of others in the copying field.
‘In addition, instead of having two products, we
are broadening our range – and we are going to
have more. So we not only have trouble with
competitors, we have trouble with ourselves – our
old machines compete with our new machines.
‘Then there is a third consideration : we have
moved into another market. Having staked out a
claim in the copying market, we are now staging
an attack on the duplicating market.
‘Yet another dimension has been added to our
business and Mitcheldean’s headaches: machines
continually get moved out and they have to be
reconditioned, remodelled.
‘There is also the question of size. When I joined
only four years ago we had four and a half
thousand employees; now we have 131 thousand.
We had a turnover of about 14 million at the end
of June 1964. I won’t tell you what it is this year
as the City would like to know. Let’s say it is four
times as much ! The problems of size we all
know – we get top heavy, communications get
bad, people can’t hear each other because of the
‘What are the effects of this second stage ? Some
of the complacency has been knocked out of us.
what we are
doing about it
I don’t think there was much in Mitcheldean, but,
as a company, a few years ago we were inclined to
think our success was due to our own cleverness.
We didn’t give enough credit to the incredible
audacity of the original idea – to rent the product
on a monthly rental. We have about 100,000
machines all over the world – and that’s our
money locked up in them.
‘Now we have a more difficult business. We know
we have got to be smarter than our competitors.
It has sorted the men from the boys and it has
forced us as a company to be more professional,
more competitive and more flexible.
Photo A Hamblin
‘What Mitcheldean has achieved is to a great
extent your achievement’ – Mr. Nigel G. Foulkes,
Managing Director, Rank Xerox Ltd.
‘During the last 18 months we have had shortages
of parts and machines: we have had losses (that
describes machines which have been thrown out
from a customer because of competition, the
customer’s bankruptcy, etc.)
‘What are we going to do about it all ?
‘During the last 12 months we have amalgamated
all the technical, production. hardware,
consumables and planning aspects into one big
co-ordinated Division under Fred Wickstead – the
Production Et Supply Operations Division.
‘I have just completed a streamlining and
reorganisation of staff functions based in London
in order to sort out who is supposed to do the
long-range thinking in the next few years, and who
is supposed to do the actual fighting – strategy
and tactics, as the soldiers would say.
‘We are greatly increasing the strength of the
technical functions. We are putting a lot of money
and men into computers. We are trying to
improve our planning and forecasting. We are
trying to put everything we have got into
personnel and industrial relations functions. I
really do believe that if the 131 thousand people
who work in Rank Xerox do not enjoy their work
and do not understand why they are doing it, you
Photos A. Hamblin
About 180 members and guests sat down to a
most enjoyable dinner.
haven’t got a company, you have a shambles.
‘We are trying to develop a style, to show people
we are a good firm to work for, that we have
progressive ideas. A style based on a few simple
principles: don’t hog all the enjoyable work at the
top, and don’t work yourself to death – delegate.
A style which believes in thinking ahead, having
more than one plan, so that whatever troubles you
run into. you have a chance of having anticipated
them. A style which believes in plain speaking and
plain dealing.
‘By June 30 a lot of changes will have been
completed. By Christmas we shall have reached a
position where I hope to be able to look you in
the eye and say that the Company is in as good
shape, or better, to face its future as ever before.
‘Where does Mitcheldean come in ? Well, the
engineering, production and supply activities of
this Company are absolutely at the heart of the
business. There are nine and a half thousand
people in 19 operating companies who are
installing and servicing and exploiting the
machines. These rented machines depend on the
Production Et Supply Operations Division, of
which Mitcheldean is the most important unit.
‘The growth of this Company (and it has to grow)
for the next two years depends on the 3600. All
the other machines are holding the line, the
ground we have already won.
‘The people in London no longer think that
Mitcheldean is some place out in the woods where
machines grow on trees and every time we want
another hundred, Fred Wickstead cuts them down
like bananas!
‘They know you are a vital part of this business
operation. The people in 18 overseas companies
outside the UK know how much they depend on
Mitcheldean and how important this place is.
Anyone who comes here from overseas goes back
impressed by you and your work. There is no
Division of Rank Xerox which thinks it can go it
‘In five years we have made ourselves a world
reputation ; now we have to fight like the devil to
keep it. Every year the financial boys expect us to
fall flat on our faces. Every year we prove them
wrong and we get a bit more ahead, bigger, and
better at our jobs.
This has been a very hard year for all of us; we
set ourselves certain targets but we have only got
fairly close to them.
‘This year’s profits come out of the efforts of past
years – not from the machines which have
recently gone into the market, but from those put
in in the years before. Next year has already been
damaged by the fact that, as a company, we have
failed to ship into the market the 2400s and
3600s we hoped to ship. This has hit us and next
year is going to be a pretty hard one and a strain
on all of us. We have been slowed down in the
duplicating market.
‘I know that what Mitcheldean has done for Rank
Xerox is something to be proud of. But the pace of
change in this business is increasing all the time.
New products come in faster, and the problems
of next year are not going to be solved by using
the same techniques or solutions used in past
‘Every one of us has to tackle this essential
question : how shall we organise our daily work so
that our personal self-interest and the needs of
the business push in the same direction and not
against each other ?
‘Because I think you are an important group of
people, I want to remind you that you can play a
very important role in helping to work out new
solutions to the new problems which are going to
arise. I am grateful to you for inviting me, for
what you have done, and for what you are going
to do in the future.’
For Mr. Ray Camp, proposing a toast to the LSA,
it was an occasion of some sadness, for this was
At the dinner Mr.
Foulkes presented
awards for 25 years’
service with the
Company to those
whose pictures
appear here.
‘Iris’ Stanton (Machine
Shop, Milling Section)
John Everall (3600
Machine Shop)
Len Hart (in charge
of Training School)
the last such toast he would ever propose as
chairman. As he put it, ‘In a short time I shall be
put out to grass!’
The formation of a Long Service Association
within this Plant was something that had always
been near and dear to his heart, he said, and now
at the end of 35 years with the Company he was
able to take away with him the knowledge that the
association was growing from strength to
Proposing *The Guests’, Mr. Wickstead, President
of the Association, remembered those members
who had been ill during the past 12 months, and he
extended a particular welcome to those 15 or so
retired members who were present at the dinner.
Mr. Southorn, Works Manager at Rank Taylor
Hobson, Leicester, replied on behalf of the guests.
Raffle tickets were sold after the dinner to raise
funds for a summer outing for retired members:
£26 was raised and a report of the outing appears
on page 7. The company spent the remainder of
the evening with their guests in the Ballroom,
where the latter had previously been entertained
with a film show and served with refreshments.
Photos : A. Hamblin
Joe Bennett (660
Assembly Stores)
Phil Cleal (Machine
Shop Supervisor)
Eric Knight (Supervisor, Jim Slade (Production
3600 Department) & Supply Planning)
For Sale
New all-weather Pedigree pushchair, completely
foldable, with large hood. Navy with white
interior. £5. Apply : S. Fox (Purchase Office) or
‘Delamere’, 16B Church Road, Cinderford.
Bex-Bissell Shampoo Master (double-action) –
£3 ono. Replies to : Mrs. E. Thomas, Design Office
Print Room.
Treadle sewing machine, table top model, easily
adapted to electric motor. Good condition,
£10 ono. Apply : F. Bell (Gate Police).
1 Jumping season ? (6)
4 It follows 1 across – get your
raincoat out. (6)
7 Entirely trustful. (9)
9 You must go on the stage to find
such a silly man. (4)
10 That 1 across feeling ? You must
do something about it. (4)
11 Nothing new – it’s existing. (5)
13 From the behind it gives you a
turn. (6)
14 Serious learner can be kind of
rash. (6)
15 Sale of mixed junk. (6)
17 Geometrical fish-man ? (6)
19 In them endless arguments it is
correct (even if the grammar
isn’t). (5)
20 Army pill number. (4)
22 Sounds like a man from the
Irish bog. (4)
23 Unreasonable instruction from a
high authority ? (4 Et 5)
24 Score less than a century. (6)
25 Describes Wednesday’s child. (6)
Square modern parrot cage in good condition, less
than a year old. Any offers to : J. Cruickshank,
Data Transmission Section, Production Et Supply
Planning (ext. 183).
Bicycle for six- to seven-year-old. Replies to:
Mrs. M. Fowler, Tree Tops, Plump Hill,
Mitcheldean (Drybrook 415).
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24 v 25
1 Vocal sewing machine. (6) 12 After this, mother’s and father’s
2 Smooth and hard. (4) mother and father. (5)
3 Old-fashioned governor. (6) 15 When I was single, my pockets
4 Where to go when told to get did . . (6)
off the line. (6) 16 Use, like a boss. (6)
5 Fare-list for both of us ? (4) 17 Saintly Scot with a famous golf
6 Show about a dead calf. (6) course. (6)
7 Often salted away in a cellar. (9) 18 Sell – about a litre. (6)
8 He goes from here to there. (9) 21 Every one. (4)
11 Beautiful woman – give her a
ring. (5)
22 Sounds like a mountain dog,
but he’s not that high. (4)
Ray Camp, Manager of the Model Shop, retires
this August at the end of 35 years with the
Company. So much of his career has been bound
up with the Model Shop that to outline the
department’s history is to outline to a great extent
his own work and achievements.
‘We shall certainly miss his ability as a model
maker,’ said Mr. A. S. Pratt, Chief Engineer of Rank
Xerox Ltd. ‘He has always been a prolific source
of ideas, some of which have led to significant
improvements in the Company’s products.
‘For example, he provided the inspiration for the
mechanical miss detector now incorporated in our
914 and 720 models -a device which shuts the
machine down in the case of failure of the puffer.
The English and metric paper tray for the 914 and
720 was also his idea.’
A gifted engineer, Ray gained his technical
training at Leyton Engineering Er Technical Schoolnow
part of the South-East Essex Technical
College (where incidentally Mr. C. W. Hotchen also
received his early training). His father having been
killed in action in 1917, Ray was sponsored by the
Drapers Company who ran a special scheme for
helping children of war widows. They paid for his
apprenticeship to the firm of Henry Hughes Son
(now Kelvin Hughes) who had long-standing
traditions in the manufacture of land, sea and air
navigating instruments. The sponsorship also
included E’l 0 in gold and the Freedom of the City
of London !
During his 13 years with Henry Hughes he
designed and patented a navigating compass for
high-speed speedboats and aircraft. He left to work
with S. G. Brown, specialists in gyro compasses,
until 1931 when he went to work in the
experimental department of HMV (now EMI).
About 1933 he joined British Acoustic Films at
Woodger Road. Their Laboratory Workshop, as it
was then called, had come into being with the
advent of sub-standard (16 mm) sound film, and
the Company was designing, assembling and
testing the ‘Grosvenor’ projector which used to be
rented out to customers. At that time BAF
manufactured nothing at all, everything being
‘Not many people realise,’ says Ray, ‘that BAF were
concerned with the opening of television at
Alexandra Palace in 1936.’ The equipment which
was to record the Postmaster General’s speech at
the opening was made by Logie-Baird (who were
part of the Gaumont-British group at that time)
and recorded both sound and picture.
Because the sound system was poor, Woodger
Road were called in to put it right and, recalls Ray,
‘we worked all day and night completely
rebuilding the soundhead, and the official opening
of the TV studios was recorded on the fruits of our
labours !” This machine is now believed to be in
the National Science Museum.
lie ninisces..
The triple projector which is still in use t ay at
Pinewood Studios for producing backgro nd films.
Experimental Department about the mid-1950’s.
Recognise the faces?
With the start of the last war, the Laboratory
Workshop took on Government contract work,
making searchlights and naval instruments. Then
Mr. Law undertook the manufacture of fire control
instruments (TFD) and, because it was one of the
conditions of the contract that these were made
outside London, the directors looked for a suitable
location and eventually decided on the old
brewery site at Mitcheldean.
The Services contracts were brought with us to
Mitcheldean and hundreds of the L.516 16mm
sound projectors were made for the Army and Air
Force during the war, as well as submarine
plotting tables and searchlights. A small quantity
of spares for our own cinema projectors were also
made during this period.
The Mitcheldean factory belonged to BAF. but the
Maltings were leased to the Ministry of Food and
couldn’t be used until the war was over. ‘We had
some marvellous rats over there! Big as cats.
Frank Sekinger used to come out with his rifle
and pick them off during lunchtime !’ recalls Ray.
After the cessation of hostilities, Lord Rank (then
simply J. Arthur Rank) took over Gaumont British,
which included BAF. His aim was to re-equip
Pinewood Studios in order to make better films,
and Mitcheldean was given the job of making the
background process projection equipment.
The outcome was a unique piece of apparatus -a
triple projector – for the design and manufacture
of which Ray Camp and Peter Summers (now in
Design Engineering) were jointly responsible. This
projector was delivered to Pinewood Studios at
Christmas 1948 and is still in use there today.
Television began to develop rapidly and quite a
deal of work in the Experimental Laboratory (for
that was the department’s new name) was in
connection with 16mm TV projector equipment
which was designed for Marconi’s at Woodger
Road under Mr. Pratt’s leadership.
‘In fact,’ says Ray. ‘the only successful fast
pull-down 16mm storage camera for TV
performances in the world was designed by BAF
and made here at Mitcheldean for marketing by
In taking on Bell Et Howell work about 1946-7,
Experimental was involved in a considerable
amount of manufacturing of professional printers
and splicers and, subsequently, of magnetic
projectors and cameras. In the course of his work,
Ray made numerous suggestions for detailed
improvements to these products, resulting in the
creation of the 640 and 644 magnetic and
photographic projectors.
With the changeover to Xerox, the Laboratory was
given the job of constructing the first 914
machines. ‘We had all the drawings from the
States,’ he says, ‘and we had to make every item
ourselves except for the drum and a few
consumables which came from the USA.
‘The first 914 machine we produced was sent
round to exhibitions to fill our order books, which
it did to an embarrassing extent !’
It was not only on the production side that Ray
proved a source of inspiration. One of the founders
of the Mitcheldean Long Service Association, he
chaired the inaugural meeting in 1953 (with him
on that memorable occasion were Bob Baker,
Jock Currie, Tommy Knight senior, Taffy Morgan,
Bernard Smith and Ron Wrigglesworth), after
which he took on the job of secretary. For the last
five years he has been chairman, but, in or out of
office, he has always taken a great interest in the
activities of the LSA – an interest which he hopes
to maintain after his retirement.
1953 also saw Ray become chairman of the
Mitcheldean Sports 8- Social Club, and he has
filled this position ever since! The first thing he did
was to give the club a constitution. He also
applied to the directors for the use of the Club
House which until then had been used as a private
residence, and with his own hands built the
original bar.
Such an enterprising character as Ray is not likely
to be at a loss on his retirement. He and his wife
Edna have a married daughter Jean who has given
them two grandchildren. They also have a married
son, Robin, who lives in Amherstburg, near
Windsor, Ontario. For some years Ray and Edna
have been looking forward to visiting Robin, and
this September they are making the trip at last.
While over there Ray hopes to contact Laurie
Miller who came to Mitcheldean from Woodger
Road all those years ago as Ray’s foreman,
subsequently emigrated to Canada and now lives
in Toronto.
Back home, Ray has various hobbies to keep him
occupied. He is a keen gardener; he is interested
in chronometry and not, only mends but makes
clocks for his family: he also likes making furniture,
and doing the odd bit of carving. He has a keen
appreciation of classical music, particularly opera,
and used to enjoy painting land and seascapes.
‘I may take it up again,’ says Ray, ‘if I get
browned off’. But we can’t see much likelihood
of that !
On June 29 a party of Rank West London Sports
Er Social Club members visited Mitcheldean. They
had lunch with us, toured the Forest of Dean and
after tea were entertained in the Social Centre.
During the evening Mr. F. Wickstead, in his dual
capacity as President of both the Sports Er Social
Club and the Long Service Association at
Mitcheldean, presented Ray Camp with a tape
recorder on behalf of the Club and a portable
television set on behalf of the LSA.
Putting IYOUtin the picture
Ryan, a son for Clarence Games (Maintenance), on
March 10.
Gary Roger, a son for Roger Brookes (3600
Assembly), on March 20.
Simon Richard, a son for Royston Taylor (Project
Engineer), on April 26.
Julie Alison, a daughter for Mrs. Mary Smart
(formerly 720 Assembly), on May 30.
Stewart James, a son for Roy Love (Design
Engineering), on June 16.
Miss Bernice Tinton (Design Office) to Roger
Roberts on April 13.
Gordon Meek (3600 Supervisor’s office) to
Miss June Burson on April 14.
Richard Wood (720 Assembly) to Miss Linda
Benyon on May 17.
Sorry !
We regret that the announcement of the
engagement of Miss Pat Tudor (3600 Assembly)
to Gilbert Meek (stacker driver) made in our last
issue was incorrect and resulted from our being
misinformed. Apologies to those concerned.
Mr. and Mrs. R. Davies. (R. L. Evans) Mr. and Mrs. R. Griffiths.
Apprentice Activity
About 28 apprentices visited the Filton Division of
the British Aircraft Corporation, Bristol, on June 12
to see the assembly of the Concorde prototype
aircraft 002 and the first pre-production aircraft
Concorde 01.
Next big event in the apprentices calendar will be
their Annual Dinner and Presentation which is to
be held in the Social Centre on September 6.
First Aid Successes
For the first time apprentices from our Plant
entered for the St. John Ambulance Association
examination, and all four of them passed. The
boys, all in their first year, were: Roger Miles,
Colin Brickel, Andrew Phillips and Gary Rogers,
the three last-named taking the test as part of
their Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award course.
Other Rank employees who successfully took the
examination on June 10 were: Mrs. D. Bullock,
(Walbrook Photography)
(secretary to Mr. G. Linley), D. Beard (PED),
A. Cale (Machine Shop), L. Fisher (Design),
A. Meek (Reconditioning), E. Paddock (First Aid),
H. S. Phillips (Tool Inspection Supervisor),
R. Rawlings (Machine Shop) and J. M. Stephens
(660 Inspection).
ACROSS: 1 – Spring. 4 – Summer.
7 – Confident. 9 – Goon. 10 – Urge. 11 – Being.
13 – Rudder. 14 – Gravel. 15 – Jumble.
17 – Angler. 19 – Emend. 20 – Nine. 22 – Peat.
23 -Tall order. 24 – Eighty. 25 – Woeful.
DOWN: 1 – Singer. 2 – Iron. 3 – Gaffer.
4 – Siding. 5 – Menu. 6 – Reveal.
7 – Condiment. 8 – Traveller. 11 – Belle.
12 – Grand. 15 – Jingle. 16 – Employ.
17 – Andrew. 18 – Retail. 21 – Each. 22 – Peke.
Miss Carole Pitt (Capital Section, Accounts) to
John Bosuloy (International Warehouse).
at St. Michael’s, Mitcheldean, on June 1.
Miss Maria Beard (Production Control,
Reconditioning) to Roger Griffiths (3600 Assembly)
at St. Michael’s Church, Mitcheldean, on May 11.
Neville Little (Carpenters Shop) to Miss Monica
Groenway at Ross Parish Church on May 27.
Miss Maureen Simmonds (Design Office Print
Room) to Robert Davies (Electrical Laboratory) at
Christchurch, Coleford, on June 8.
Miss June Partridge (secretary to Dr. P. Sarkar,
Computer Services Manager) to Keith Knight at
St. John’s Church, Cinderford, on June 15.
Miss Valerie Weaving (Punch Room, Computer
Services) to Jeffrey Hale (3600 Assembly) at
St. Stephen’s Church, Cinderford, on June 29.
Tony Palmer (Computer Systems) to Miss Patricia
Rhodes at Ludlow Parish Church on July 27.
Miss Margaret Woodhead (Design Engineering
Reception) to Richard Fisher at S::’ John’s Church,
Coleford, on August 3.
Miss Ann Hale (Design Office Punch Room) to
Paul Leaver at the Forest Church on August 17.
21st Birthdays
Peter Delaney (apprentice) on April 30.
Robert Beard (Purchase) on May 11.
Miss Ann Hepburn (Purchase) on May 21.
Miss Celia Jones (720 Assembly) on July 8.
Mrs. Florence Leach (720 Inspection) on June 14.
Mr. and Mrs. J. Boseley. (R. L. Evans) Mr. and Mrs. B. Fisher, whose
wedding was reported in our last issue.
./..” .1./ es/ / ./.1././../.././.1.r/ I’ .1/ / /
(R. L Evans)
Trip to the Towers
Alton Towers, near Stoke-on-Trent, has been
chosen by the Cine Et Photographic Club for their
summer outing this year. They plan to go on
August 25. Later in the year cine films and colour
slides taken on the outing will be judged and
prizes awarded for the best entries.
Earlier, on May 14, the club held their annual
general meeting. All the officers were re-elected as
follows: Chairman: Cyril Jamieson (Quality
Control) ; vice-chairman: Miss Doris Barker
(Design Office) ; secretary: Robin Berks (Factory
Engineering Order Dept.) ; treasurer: Larry Sterrett
(Project Engineering). Members of the committee
are: Miss Yvonne Hart (secretary to Mr. A. S.
Pratt), Lionel Fisher (Design Engineering), Bill
Gosnell (Spares Packing), Ira Griffin (PED), Tony
Hamblin (Works Photographer), and Dennis
Robbins (660 Inspection).
Mr. Bernard A. Moger
We regret to have to record the death on May 24
of our former Security Officer, Mr. Bernard A.
Moger (aged 64) at the Dilke Memorial Hospital.
‘Bunny’, as he was affectionately known, was a
great personality and he bore his long illness with
fortitude, writes Bob Holliday (now Mail
Room) who had been his second-in-command
ever since Bunny came to Mitcheldean from
Mortimer House in London in 1959.
Ex-regular Army, he was a member of the RAOB
and of the British Legion, and there was a strong
contingent from the latter among representatives
of the Company at the Requiem Mass held on
May 29 at Blaisdon Hall. Bob Holliday, Les
Tuffley (Tool Room) and Roy Morgan (Machine
Shop) were among the pall-bearers, Bryant
Lampshire (720 Assembly) and Eph Evans (Tool
Inspection) acted as standard-bearers, and
trumpeter Neville Edmunds (Work Study) sounded
the Last Post and Reveille. Bunny leaves a wife
and eight children, four of whom are married.
Keeping on their
The Ladies’ Keep Fit Club maintained their
reputation as champion fund raisers when their
Annual Charity Dance, held on May 11 in the
Social Centre. produced £150 for the North
Gloucestershire Hydrotherapy Unit Appeal Fund.
Acknowledging the cheque, Major H. E. Horton,
Appeal Fund Chairman, wrote to Mr. F.
Wickstead, President of the Keep Fit Club : ‘What a
magnificent effort ! The amount of work that your
Keep Fit Girls must have done should excuse them
from compulsory exercises for at least a month !’
Thanks are also due to those who provided the
cabaret – the Elizabeth Corney School of Dancing.
Lydney, and Basil Walker (Paint Shop) and his
wife Olive who gave an Old Tyme Dancing displa
to the local tradespeople and suppliers who
donated generous prizes for the bumper draw,
ranging from a bottle of Scotch to a canteen of
cutlery to Miss Kate Matthews (660 Inspection)
who sold over 2,260 tickets for the draw , and to
our Plant Accountant. Mr. J. C. C. Woods. who
made a masterly Master of Ceremonies.
The Rank Ballroom Dancing Club too are keeping on
their toes ! A number of the members are practising
for medal examinations which they will be taking
this summer. Last February they invited members
of other classes from Gloucester. Cinderford,
Huntley and Leominster to our Social Centre once
again, and a very successful evening was enjoyed
by a hundred or so enthusiastic dancers.
Incidentally, the club members have said how
much they appreciated the change of band when
they encountered the ‘Blue Ramblers’ at the
Ladies’ Keep Fit Annual Charity Dance.
Part of the Elizabeth Corney School of Dancing
display. Incidentally, all the pupils taking
part had learned that very day that they had
passed their recent examinations.
Basil and Olive Walker. Photos : A. Hamblin
Printed in England by Taylor. Young (Printers) Ltd.

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